Analysis comment

Tories know 43% of Universal Credit claimants can’t afford enough to eat – yet are cutting it anyway

Almost half will be plunged deeper into hunger – and further 13% ‘marginal’ and highly likely to be tipped over edge by cut

Boris Johnson and his government are knowingly forcing people into a position where they can’t afford to eat

The Tories’ own latest data, from the government’s ‘Annual Resources Survey’, show that almost half of people forced to claim Universal Credit – 43% – are in food poverty under that benefit system. Huge numbers of people are literally unable to afford enough to eat.

The survey means that Boris Johnson and his Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey are fully aware of how much families are suffering under their draconian, consciously cruel and woefully inadequate system, condemned for its cruelty even by the UN – and yet the Tories are still pushing through a £20 per week cut to Universal Credit, reversing the ‘uplift’ that was brought in as a meagre response to additional hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey also show that an additional 13% of people claiming the benefit are ‘marginal’ – only just able to afford to eat and subject to hunger at any adverse circumstance. The £20 cut will push many of them, probably most, over the edge into food hunger.

Despite this, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds recently refused to say that his party would restore the £20 cut by the Tories if Labour won a general election. But while the party’s front bench declines to oppose, Labour’s backbenchers are standing up for people in hardship. Senior back-bench MP Jon Trickett has drawn attention to the sheer scale of the misery being inflicted on the most vulnerable and insecure:

But aside from a handful of back-bench MPs, in parliamentary terms the struggling people of this country are stuck between a literally murderous Tory government and a notional ‘opposition’ that doesn’t have the spine, wit or empathy to oppose and is busy trying to disassociate itself from a vision of cutting poverty, reducing inequality or even of opposing effectively.

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11 comments

  1. NVL brought this issue up on another thread and I was sickened that in the 21st century we should be discussing the right to the basics for life as a extra incentive to vote Labour.Thank you Squawkbox for being in the front line drawing attention to the plight of many of the people in the UK who are litterly dumped and abandoned by the establishment system that seeks to force us back to the turn of the century before.The Social security system is collapsing along with the NHS and the infrastructure of the country .All the Labour party offer is a continuation of the poverty trap.ITs quickly becoming a recipe for insurrection if nothing is done..

    1. Reading this reminds me of the catchy tune “Millionaires” by Phat Bollard (group of homeless musicians)

  2. ………..and will not be able to afford photo id to be able to vote in Elections to change the unfair political system which directly discriminates against them. .

  3. Just been out with union members this morning et this and a great response from public and some sad conversations with some on UC.
    I also saw a great Unite post the other day where union members and families made a huge sign on Bridlington beach saying ‘Cancel The Cut!’
    And some of the kids had never seen the sea before.
    Of course the £20 a week should have been on all benefits but those on UC spend the money in local shops, and as well as helping vulnerable citizens it brings millions to the local pound.
    I read in Wakefield alone there are 10,000 on UC alone (bigger than the Tory MPs majority) and it brings £11m to the local economy.
    Of course there are 2 welfare states – the working class one which is deliberately meagre & stigmatised (and is under attack) and the luxurious upper class welfare state where the rich and better off are subsidised to the hilt with tax reliefs & concessions with Big Business getting £97b a year which = £3,500 per household.
    And of course the Tories set neighbour against neighbour re welfare to distract from tax cuts for millionaires who are distant from most peoples’ lives.
    And Right Wing Labour it could be suggested (a) lack the political courage to fight for the poor and (b) lack the political acumen to try to counter the dominant Right Wing Narrative on Welfare.
    So someone like Fishy Rishi Sunak, who’s school fees were £42,000 a year and who has apparently just built a million pound swimming pool, has to be challenged.
    The Tories talk a lot about Levelling Up but they are Grinding People Down!

  4. This is one of the reasons why I hold the PLP, Blairites and Labour staffers in such contempt. They all connived with the MSM to demonise and destroy Jeremy Corbyn and with him our chances of government and this is the result- a vicious right wing government with a massive majority right up there with Thatcher, some might say even worse. My only consolation is that many of them lost their seats but thats no comfort for those on Universal Credit who are struggling to feed themselves and their families

  5. Now now, skwawky. You’re being most unfair.

    They’ve said they’ll rename UC. (Get the fucking bunting out)

    Under a stammerite government you’d be getting ubiquitous welfare’ instead; because stammerites think it’s vital that claimants should have the stigma of claiming removed (as well as the £20 uplift).

    Notice they haven’t said a dicky-bird about NOT persecuting those who are forced to claim, too.

    They’re NO different to the ratbastard toerags and their excuse of making people wait five weeks for a first payment: ‘because that’s what you’d have to do if you were working

    Or the absolute bollocks that working (for your dole, or in a shitty low-paid job that leaves you worse off than claiming)::’Will improve your self esteem

    stammerism =. Tough on welfare, tough( as the toerags) on welfare claimants.

  6. Rachel Reeves “tougher than the Tories on benefits”, ( now shadow Chancellor) said of Labour “We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work,”
    she also added that. “Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people.”.
    Where’s the compassion and empathy? No mention of children,vulnerable or disabled..

  7. Toffee even in the heyday of the Labour Blair years anyone saying “We are not the party of people on benefits and we are not the party to represent those who are out of work” .would have been ostracized,A member of the Labour shadow cabinet would have been removed and possibly expelled for bringing the Labour party into disrepute.I left the Labour party because of Blair,but I am staggered that the leader of the Labour party thinks that the people will support a parasite whos contempt for the working-class is for all to see.Not many of the ordinary people havnt felt the cold breath of unemployment.What a animal that fascist bunch of shadowy cranks have the Labour party spawned.?Blair was a liar and a war criminal but he was not stupid enough to have allowed that comment to be mainstream in the Labour party.despite the Reeves parasite being a byproduct of the Blair years.

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