Over 300,000 Disabled people’s unpaid carers, and 450,000 Disabled people and families with Disabled children, are among those who will face the £1,000 annual Universal Credit benefit cut which started last week.
The Government is adamant it will not reverse the cuts, even though food and fuel prices are rising quickly and drastically.
Rules around carers’ benefits make it hard to take on paid work. To receive the Universal Credit carer element, a person has to spend at least 35 hours a week looking after a severely Disabled person.
Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, said: “This cut will be an absolute catastrophe for struggling families who are already up against it, including unpaid carers, who face Conservative tax hikes and spiralling price rises this winter.
“The government’s assertion that people can simply work more hours to make up for their cut doesn’t stack up for those already working full time or with caring responsibilities.” Read more on how the cut will affect carers here.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have highlighted ‘hard working families’ at their party conferences, not mentioning those who cannot work and are dependent on Universal Credit, or on other legacy benefits which did not receive the uplift.
Baroness Stroud is set to challenge the withdrawal of the uplift with a vote in the House of Lords. She said: “There are people who are out of work who will move back into work, but there are also 450,000 who will move into poverty today as a result of this who have disabilities or who have children with disabilities.
“It is not just people who are in employment or should be moving into employment who claim Universal Credit and I think we have to be really honest about who is claiming UC and why they’re there.
“Our safety net is supposed to protect vulnerable people and that includes people who are sick, disabled and who have disabled children at this time.”