Labour challenges Tory MPs to call for £20 per week Universal Credit cut to be axed

Credit: PA

Labour will challenge Conservative MPs “to do the right thing” and back a vote calling for the government to scrap its planned £20 per week cut to Universal Credit.

Ministers have come under sustained pressure to reverse its decision to end the uplift introduced to support families during the coronavirus pandemic.

During an opposition day debate on Wednesday, Labour will call on Tory MPs who oppose the welfare cut to vote with them in a non-binding motion.

Since the motion is non-binding, it cannot force the government to reverse its decision but it will highlight disquiet amongst MPs over the move.

It asks the government to cancel the planned cut which will reduce support for families by up to £1,040 per year.

'Now is the right time to end it': Health Secretary Sajid Javid says it was right to support families with the uplift but that it had to be a temporary measure

Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “Today, Labour is giving Conservative MPs the chance to do the right thing.

“They must choose between their blind loyalty to the prime minister and looking after their constituents.”

Ministers have defended the termination of the uplift, which will be phased out from the end of the month, by saying it was only ever designed to be a temporary response to the pandemic.

Director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children Imran Hussain said the cut “will see hundreds of thousands more childhoods become overshadowed by poverty and hardship”.

A government spokesperson said: “Universal Credit will continue to provide a vital safety net for those both in and out of work and it’s right that the government should focus on our Plan for Jobs, supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more.”