Members of Unite Community staged a protest in Shipley in support of the campaign to cancel the planned £20 per week cut to Universal Credit.

A £20 increase to the benefit was made as a result of the pandemic but is due to be withdrawn at the end of September.

There was an enthusiastic take-up of people signing the petition against the cut, as well people completing postcards to be sent to their local Conservative MP, Phillip Davies. Nearly 7,000 people are on Universal Credit in the MP’s constituency and over 65,000 across the Bradford District.

The cut will lead to deeper poverty for some six million families nationally who receive the benefit. Forty per cent of those in receipt of Universal Credit are in work but are on low wages so rely on Universal Credit to top these up.

According to the Child Poverty Action Group, 300,000 more children nationally will be thrown into poverty, if the cut is made. As one widowed mother of three on Universal Credit told Unite Community, ‘I’m terrified I’ll lose the £20 per week. That’s £1,000 per year. It’s been a lifeline.’

Judy White, chairman of the Bradford branch of Unite Community, said: “Since January, food prices in shops and supermarkets have increased by eight per cent, and food bank use in Bradford has increased significantly. Universal Credit is also one of the lowest out-of-work benefits in Europe.”

“The Government has failed to produce any evidence to justify the cut at a time of great need. We believe the decision is casual and cruel.''

“People on Job Seekers Allowance, and Employment and Support Allowance, which is claimed by many disabled people, should also receive the increase.”

“We call upon Phillip Davies and other Bradford Conservative MP Robbie Moore, to help defend their constituents and local economies by lobbying the chancellor to oppose this cut and extend the £20 uplift to those on other benefits too.”