Tories refusal to reinstate £20 Universal Credit uplift ‘makes devolution more urgent than ever’

"Our welfare system has been gutted by successive UK governments", says Plaid Cymru MP.

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Devolution is more necessary than ever since Westminster won’t provide “a decent welfare system,” according to MP Hywel Williams.

Hywel Williams, a member of Parliament who represents Plaid Cymru, has demanded that the UK Government reinstate the £20 increase to Universal Credit beginning in July in order to shield low-income people from the cost-of-living crisis.

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Mr. Williams said that Westminster is “punishing people in poverty” by its “stubborn refusal” to reinstate the £20 increase to Universal Credit. The boost was eliminated in October 2021, and despite the worsening cost-of-living crisis, Ministers have consistently refused requests to reinstate it.

According to Mr. Williams, given the “emergency” that households are currently experiencing, legacy benefit recipients should also receive a £20 increase, and all payments should be adjusted for inflation.

Additionally, Plaid Cymru is urging the government to stop using automated deductions. According to estimates by the Child Poverty Action Group, due to automated reductions from their Universal Credit payments.

Around 92,000 households in Wales who are claiming the benefit get an average of £60 less per month than they are entitled to. In Wales, these reductions are thought to have an impact on 106,000 children.

The jobless benefits supplied by other European nations are far more generous than those offered by Universal Credit.

The Nordic countries pay up to 90% of prior salaries, whereas the majority of European nations offer a percentage of prior earnings with a minimum baseline. In contrast, just 14% of the typical weekly wage is represented by the flat-rate payment provided in the UK.

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With almost one in four (23 percent) residents living in poverty, Wales has the greatest percentage of poverty among the four UK countries.

Hywel Williams MP said: “Households across Wales are facing a cost of living emergency, yet Westminster’s stubborn refusal to increase the level of payments for those on Universal Credit is punishing people in poverty even further.

“Our welfare system has been gutted by successive UK governments – both blue and red – driven by an ideological obsession with cutting the size of the state.

“We must at the very least restore a basic principle of how the system should operate – that financial support should keep up with costs of living. That’s why, as well as restoring the uplift, the UK Government must uprate benefits in line with inflation.

“Ahead of what will be an incredibly difficult Autumn for households, the UK Government should also reconsider its heartless policy of automatic deductions.

“Approximately 92,000 households on Universal Credit in Wales are receiving an average of £60 less each month than they are entitled to, because of automatic deductions from their UC payment. These deductions affect an estimated 106,000 children in Wales.

“Universal Credit is one of the least generous welfare systems in Europe. If Westminster is unwilling to show the most basic level of human decency, we must demand powers over welfare so we can create a decent welfare system for the people of Wales.”

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