Tory-run Essex County Council back cuts to Universal Credit

News / Fri 15th Oct 2021 at 06:35am

ESSEX County Council has defended the government’s decision to remove as much as 22 per cent of the income from some of the poorest in Essex.

More than 20,000 households – made up of single people without children – face a reduction in their payments of 22 per cent, the county council has calculated reports Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Around 79,800 Essex households receiving Universal Credit in May 2021 – with an average weekly payment of £188.49 – face a reduction of £20 with the ending of the temporary uplift.

This represents a reduction in their entitlement of 11 per cent.

There is, however, a lot of variation.

Around a quarter of households, amounting to approximately 20,200 receive less than £92 per week.

For this group the uplift accounts for at least 21 per cent of their entitlement.

Another quarter receive over £253 per week, for whom the uplift accounts for at most 8 per cent of their entitlement.

The county council has said that by far the most exposed group are single people without children, who are not paying rent.

This represents around 21,400 households in Essex.

The average entitlement among this group is £89.66 per week – and the removal of the uplift represents a 22 per cent reduction in their entitlement.

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Corporate Affairs. said: “There has been direct support for the most financially vulnerable throughout the pandemic, not least through the Essential Living Fund, with a total of around £2.5m.

“The majority of this has gone to families with children and single parents, through the provision of food / fuel cards and essential items such as bedding, replacement fridges and ovens.

“In addition, an announcement has been made for further support for vulnerable households through local government through the £500m Household Support Fund.

“Essex will receive £9.437m to support us through to March 31 2022, of which at least 50 per cent is to support family households.

“his will help us to continue to support the most financially vulnerable with essential household costs such as food and essentials linked to energy and water e.g. sanitary products, warm clothing, soap, blankets, boiler repair.”

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7 Comments for Tory-run Essex County Council back cuts to Universal Credit:

tony edwards
2021-10-15 08:37:20

And this decision was supported by County Councillors whose basic "allowances" are at least £12, 000 per year or £230 per week https://assets.ctfassets.net/knkzaf64jx5x/11MhkP4F6t96TZjFlAPPWP/965591d4d7342c56abc57912499547d5/Members_Expenses_Allowances_2020-2021.pdf Meanwhile we have a Conservative MP (Peter Bottomley) saying that it is a struggle to live on a salary of £82,000 per year

2021-10-15 08:58:25

Post pandemic, the cost of living has significantly increased. Higher food, fuel, utilities, and insurance prices, amongst others, are impacting household budgets. Many are struggling to keep afloat. Reducing the Universal Credit further compounds the situation. It's a harsh decision in the face of adversity.

2021-10-15 10:21:38

The county councillors receive a basic "allowance" of £12,000 but for some it is up £66,000 a year. How do the manage?

Michael Hatton
2021-10-15 11:16:28

Sir, Every day I read and hear of thousands of vacant job opportunities across the country, why can't these people who complain that they are only existing, not living, apply to work and lead a normal life. A family friend who runs a coffee and soft drinks company, is looking to employ people to deliver goods and products, almost every response to her ad is, " is it cash in hand " ? The general response is that they cannot work straight, because they would lose their benefits.

2021-10-15 13:38:34

All these rascals and people who do very little weigh the country down and generally make life difficult for everyone should be banished. Well, especially those who draw their benefits and do not much else: there's those on £300 a day just for turning up, signing in and falling asleep on benches, those reported by previous commentators, who vote, join parties, but don't think for themselves at all and draw £12000 to £66000 a year, all whilst the disadvantaged, those in the poverty trap and working people are forced to use food banks.... Absolutely disgraceful, something needs to be done about it.!

2021-10-15 13:42:09

What qualifications do you need to become a Cllr or politician?

Michael Hatton
2021-10-15 19:23:31

Sir, I think that novoman is attempting to blur reality with a very weak attempt at sarcasm. Where was he during the second World etc ?

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