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Universal Credit must be extended to carers, say the Liberal Democrats in Parliament

January 18, 2021 1:49 PM
Originally published by Newcastle upon Tyne Liberal Democrats

Wendy ChamberlainThe Liberal Democrats are calling for the increase in Universal Credit to be extended to anyone caring for a friend, family member or neighbour who cannot cope without their support.

MPs in Parliament will vote on a motion to scrap the planned £1000 cut in Universal Credit. Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain MP is pushing for an amendment which would see unpaid carers as well as others who rely on 'legacy' benefits to be awarded the increase too.

Over 900,000 people across the country rely on carers allowance of less than £70 a week, the lowest paid benefit of its kind. Many struggle to make ends meet, often relying on foodbanks for themselves as well as those they care for. Liberal Democrats have led the campaign to support the country's unpaid carers many of whom are facing extreme financial hardship during the pandemic.

Liberal Democrats Work and Pensions spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

"MPs have the chance to right a huge wrong in our society. Not only can we vote to scrap the planned £1000 cut in Universal Credit but we can also do more to support the country's carers. Just calling for this cut to be cancelled is not enough, carers need help now.

"If Conservative MPs choose to blindly back the Government line then they will have to explain to the country why they can find hundreds of thousands of pounds for their mates and party donors but can't find an extra £20 a week for our nation's army of carers."

Wendy Chamberlain MP will table the following manuscript amendment to the Opposition Day Motion on the proposed cut to Universal Credit

"Line 3, Leave out from 'year' to end and add '; recognises that many carers and disabled people do not receive Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit and so did not see the benefit of the 2020-2021 £20 a week uplift; therefore calls on the Government to uplift legacy benefits in line with the Universal Credit uplift, backdated to April 2020; further recognises the remarkable and important job which unpaid carers are doing in very difficult circumstances; notes that many carers are facing extreme financial hardship but the current rate of Carer's Allowance at £67.25 is the lowest benefit of its kind and not nearly enough; and calls on the Government to immediately raise Carer's Allowance by £1,000 a year in line with the uplift in Universal Credit.'"