Oldham Lib-Dems call on Chancellor to make £20-a-week Universal Credit rise permanent

Date published: 07 October 2020

Liberal Democrat Councillors have called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, to end the financial uncertainly for Oldham Borough’s poorest families and make a one-year temporary rise of £20-a-week in Universal Credit payments permanent. 

The increase was announced in April at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now with the deferment of the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget until Spring, there is currently no guarantee that the rise will be made permanent next year.

Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Howard Sykes has added his voice, and that of his party colleagues, to the call from many of Britain’s leading charities for the uncertainty to be ended by writing to the Chancellor asking for the rise to be made permanent.

Councillor Sykes said: “With the economic downturn that has accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic, and the ending of furlough at the end of this month, more and more Oldham households without employment will be dependent upon Universal Credit for many more months, maybe years, to come. 

"The temporary uplift of £20 per week, or £1,040 a year, is a Godsend to our poorest residents and their families. 

"For many it represents the difference between being able to put food before the family at mealtimes or keeping the lights on or keeping their home warm; or being unable to do so. 

"It is my hope that the Chancellor does the principled thing and makes the increase permanent.”

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing news@oldham-chronicle.co.uk , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.