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Bolton TUC, the trade union body that represent the whole of the Bolton workforce, are calling upon the 2 Bolton Conservative MPs, Christopher Green and Mark Logan to join almost 60 other Conservative MPs and vote against the removal of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit.

With nearly 60 Conservative MPs now opposing the planned cut to universal credit (UC), and Boris Johnson facing a considerable revolt for pursuing policies in direct contradiction to his flagship “levelling up” agenda MPs of all parties must oppose this cut.

The consequences of removing the uplift will not only impact upon the families of 21,000 disabled people and those 13,000 on the lowest wages immediately but will also have dire consequences for the town as a whole as the economy will shrink by £680,000 each week which is a staggering £35 million each and every year which when combined with the council cuts of over £30 million will decimate our local economy.

With Consumer Price Inflation at 2.1% the purchasing power of Universal Credit will fall behind as prices rise without the reduction of £20 and if this was not enough the end of the Job retention (Furlough) scheme may well force more people onto Universal Credit and into unemployment as many forecasters, including those at the Bank of England and the government’s spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, are expecting a rise in unemployment after furlough ends.

From October this situation will be further exacerbated for energy customers on default tariffs paying by direct debit who will see an increase of £139 from £1,138 to £1,277 per annum. With Pre-payment customers seeing costs rise by £153, from £1,156 to £,1309 per annum.

Further still to impact upon families is the announcement of National Insurance increases

The picture in Bolton is set to look a lot bleaker as over 34,000 families have their benefit cut by £20 per week

                                  UC Claimants           Workers on UC               % in work

Bolton NE                  12,400                        4,183                                      33.7%

Bolton SE                  14,077                        4,934                                      35.1%

Bolton W                    8,105                          3,119                                      38.5%

But this is not just an impact that will be felt by those 13,000 families with the total loss to the borough of Bolton of over £13 million per year which in itself will cause the local economy to shrink and create further job losses but the loss to those 21,000 sick and disabled as well

We have already been assured by Yasmin Qureshi MP that she will oppose the cuts and now call upon the MP’s for Bolton NE and Bolton W to do the same and  abandon this reckless cut that will hit the poorest and consign many of our neighbours to the poverty trap If the Conservative government is serious about levelling then we must have investment that offers skills and training that will equip the people of Bolton to face the challenges of climate change in a post Brexit economy.

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