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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Against the cuts in Euston

by New Worker correspondent

DISABLED People Against Cuts (DPAC) campaigners took to the streets of London this week to protest against the government’s removal of the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and to demand a fundamental overhaul of the social security system. Against the cuts in Euston

They blocked the Euston Road in central London for over half an hour on Tuesday in an “AudioRiot” of drums, bells, whistles and loudhailers as part of their national campaign to mark the end of COVID‑19-related support mechanisms in Universal Credit.

The government increased Universal Credit by £20 per week at the start of the pandemic. They never gave it to people on legacy benefits – meaning that more than two million disabled people and carers missed out. The uplift was also temporary and ends on 30th September.

Senior Tories, including six former Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions, have pleaded with the government not to end the uplift yet. Iain Duncan Smith and Damian Green even made a last-ditch attempt to get a motion to stop the cut voted on through the Pensions uprating debate, but their amendment was not chosen by the Speaker.

Many claimants never got the £20 in the first place. It was only applied to Universal Credit, so those still on legacy benefits and not yet moved over to Universal Credit were missed out. Over three-quarters are disabled, and their living costs have been significantly higher as a result of the pandemic and needing to shield.

Out-of-work benefits are well below the amount needed for a decent standard of living. Even after the uplift, Universal Credit is just 43.4 per cent of the minimum income standard needed for a decent standard of living. For those on legacy benefits, their social security payments all the way through the pandemic have represented just 33.9 per cent of the minimum income standard.