SHEFFIELD STOP AND SCRAP UNIVERSAL CREDIT!
Replace with a fair system that properly supports in time of need
It affects us all!
Even with the £20 increase to Universal Credit, it is still less than 27% of the National Minimum Wage for over 25s, assuming a 40-hour week. This is supposed to be a wealthy and civilized country but there are millions relying on food aid. One Sheffield foodbank in Arbourthorne reported a 1,000 % increase in demand for food aid since the lockdown. https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/council/sheffield-food-bank-use-more-1000-cent-lockdown-2851928
We also call on the Government to
- make the £20 additional payments for UC placed on a permanent basis and extend it to those claiming legacy and disability benefits
- put a halt to the minimum 5-week delay in benefit payments (and ensure any advanced loans are not repayable)
- End benefit sanctions. With the economy in tatters and unemployment at record levels people need social support to see us through this crisis.
Speaking for the campaign, Martin Mayer said “We are of course aware of media speculation that Rishi Sunak will succumb to pressure from a wide range of organisations – notably the trade unions and the Labour Party – and decide on 3rd March to retain the £20 uplift. However nothing is certain, and we cannot afford to be complacent. That’s why we are also writing a letter to Rishi Sunak personally (see attached) urging him to keep the £20 uplift and pointing out the real poverty and hardship being experienced by thousands of families here in Sheffield”
Sheffield Stop a Scrap UC calls on the Government offset the dramatic falls in income people experienced when being forced to claim UC. We are campaigning for a major reform of welfare (which involves the scrapping of UC) and its replacement by a socially just system based on the principles outlined in the TUC Welfare Charter involving decent benefits, employment and training support for claimants, and a sustainable jobs plan such as via the Green New Deal.
Will Boris Johnson and the Tory Government keep to their promise to “level up” living standards? He could start by scrapping Universal Credit and replacing it with a system that actually supports people on low/no income. Millions have been made destitute – hundreds have died! We won’t stop till Universal Credit has been scrapped!”
Britain’s “welfare system” is far meaner than any other of our close European neighbours (see table below)
Benefit comparisons with other EU countries (basic rates not including other allowances)
|Belgium||55 per cent of previous salary for single people|
|Denmark||90 per cent of previous gross earnings up to a maximum of €2,527 per month|
|Germany||60 per cent of previous net earnings for those without children|
|Italy||75 per cent of monthly earnings up to €1,329 per month|
|Spain||70 per cent of monthly earnings for first 180 days, then 50 per cent|
|Sweden||80 per cent of reference income for first 200 days, up to maximum €94 a day, then 75 per cent|
|The Netherlands||75 per cent of last daily wage for two months, then 70 per cent|
|The UK||17% of average wages or 27% of National Living Wage for those over 25 year old (£409.89 per month)*|
*This is based on TUC figures. Comparison with other EU countries is problematic because other EU nations pay benefits as a percentage of the claimant’s previous income whilst in the UK it is a set rate.
It can also be expressed as a percentage of the Living Wage:
The National Minimum Wage is £8.20p per hour (under 25s) and £8.72 (over 25s)
The Real Living Wage is £9.30 per hour (£10.75p in London)
Even with the £20 increase to Universal Credit, it is still less than 27% of the National Minimum Wage for over 25s, assuming a 40-hour week.
Note for editors:
Please contact Martin Mayer for comment on 0776 1078482. He can also arrange for comment from other organisations involved in this protest e.g. UNITE Community, Disabled People Against Cuts etc.
The National Minimum Wage Rates
|Rate from 1 April 2020||Rate from 1 April 2021||Increase|
|Aged 25 and above (NLW)||£8.72||£8.91||2.2%|
|21-22 Year Old Rate||£8.20||£8.36||2.0%|
|18-20 Year Old Rate||£6.45||£6.56||1.7%|
|16-17 Year Old Rate||£4.55||£4.62||1.5%|