Birkenhead MP: “Families to be hit by Government’s cost of living triple whammy”

Parliament was given an urgent warning yesterday that millions of families are set to be squeezed by a triple whammy of rising energy prices, an increase in national insurance, and the cut to Universal Credit. 
 
Four in ten households on Universal Credit are facing a 13 per cent price rise in their energy bills in the same month as their benefit is cut by £20 a week. According to Citizens Advice, the £20 a week uplift would cover nearly a whole week of energy costs for a below-average income household.

In a debate called by the Opposition about the attacks on workers’ living standards Labour MP, Mick Whitley said, “In my constituency of Birkenhead, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that more than twelve and half thousand working-age families will be hit by the cut to Universal Credit. This includes over six thousand working age families with children. That is almost one-third of such families in Birkenhead. They are set to lose over £1000 a year. How can that be fair?” 
 
It is estimated that the rise in the energy price cap means half a million more families across the country will be plunged into fuel poverty. 
 
Furthermore, according to analysis by the New Economics Foundation, 2.5 million families will be hit by both the cut to Universal Credit and the increase in national insurance. On average, they will lose out by £1,290 in 2022/​23. 

Labour called for the Government to change course and protect family finances before it’s too late – by cancelling the cut, dropping the tax rises on working people and businesses, and urgently exploring further measures to help households alleviate the cost of rising bills, including the option of making automatic and extending the Warm Homes Discount.

Mick Whitley MP added, “I hope the government withdraw their package of measures that will slash the standard of living for the majority and adopt the progressive tax policies that my party stands for and that can ensure that those with the broadest shoulders pay their fair share so that my constituents are not forced into a life of fuel poverty, dependence on foodbanks and a desperate struggle to survive from day to day.”
 
Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband said, “Families are facing a cruel triple whammy that will hit them in their pockets: rising energy prices, rising taxes, and a £1,000 cut to universal credit.  

“Ministers are choosing to press ahead with a damaging cut to universal credit whilst imposing unfair tax rises on working families and in spite of the rising cost of heating homes.

“It is a fundamental failure of long-term Government planning over the last decade that we are so exposed and vulnerable as a country to soaring gas prices and it is families that are now paying the price.”

Image credit: www.fotopiaimages.com

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