Penrith and The Border MP, Dr Neil Hudson, yesterday voted in favour of the opposition motion for the government to cancel its planned cut to Universal Credit.In response to the pandemic, a temporary £20 increase to universal credit payments was introduced.
The scheme officially ends on 6 October.
The motion did pass because the government abstained on the vote meaning that 253 MPs votes for it and technically no MPs voted against. It was a resolution of the House which expresses the will of the elected representatives but it cannot change the law or force the government to change the policy.
Outlining why he voted for the motion Dr Hudson said:
“Unfortunately, I think the government has found itself on the wrong side of this debate. The £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit has been a lifeline to many of my constituents throughout the pandemic and it would not be prudent to take money out of people’s pockets as the economy is still recovering from such a shock.
I know that the government has suggested that we need to shift focus to getting people back to work but I think that misses the point that Universal Credit is both an in-work and out of work benefit, with 40% of claimants classed as being in employment. I will continue to make representations to my colleagues in government on this.”