Social security should be strong enough for all of us to rely on when we need a lifeline – because, as the pandemic has shown us, life is full of things we can’t plan for.
It should protect families from harm, keeping their heads above water if someone were to lose their job; if their income were too low or insecure to make ends meet; if they were sick or their family circumstances changed. It should protect people at risk of being pulled into poverty, and be strong enough to pull people out. It should ensure stability and security, and open-up options and opportunities.
A lifeline that’s left to wear thin and threadbare isn't strong enough to pull families safely through hard times. In recent years, cuts and freezes to our levels of support have left many families, both in and out of work, living with constant insecurity, unable to meet their everyday needs. Instead of protecting families from poverty, many have been newly pulled into it, and more still pulled deeper into it.
As we look to rebuild our society, ‘level up’ and ‘build back better’, it would make no sense at all to weaken social security by cutting Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit this October.
It would pull half a million people into poverty, including 200,000 children, with families with children and those in the North of England, Wales, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland disproportionately impacted.
It would be wrong of the government to take away £20 a week from the already precarious incomes of millions of families. This would be the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security support since the foundation of the modern welfare state.
Instead, it must ensure people who are still receiving legacy benefits, many of whom are disabled or carers, are no longer excluded from this vital improvement to support.
This autumn, the government must choose.
Choose to protect people when they need support, not cut them adrift.
Choose a social security system that enables families to escape from poverty.
Choose to open-up options and opportunities for people to improve their lives.
Find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved - #KeepTheLifeline: urging the Government not to cut Universal Credit | JRF