Local MPs condemn benefit cut plan

Keir Starmer and Bell Ribeiro-Addy yesterday

Local MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy yesterday (18 January) joined Labour party leader Keir Starmer at the Brixton and Norwood Foodbank.

On the same day, the MP for Streatham pointed out, Conservative MPs were whipped to abstain on the vote on a Labour Party move to keep the current £20-a-week increase in universal credit payments after 3 April.

She said the plan to end this “uplift” would hit 12,082 households and 14,613 people in her Streatham constituency, which takes in parts of Brixton.

She said food banks across the country have seen a big increase in demand during the pandemic. With low incomes and benefit delays accounting for more than half of all referrals, “it’s clear that further reductions would plunge more into need,” she said.

“It is disgraceful that the Tories are choosing to push people into deeper poverty in the middle of an economic crisis and couldn’t even be bothered to engage with yesterday’s vote.”

Helen Hayes, Labour MP for the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, which covers most of central Brixton, said the universal credit cut that will hit 11,190 families that she represents.

“It is unthinkable that Conservative MPs want to push families in Lambeth and Southwark into further hardship,” she said.

“The government’s chronic mismanagement of the pandemic response has caused Britain to suffer the worst recession of any major economy.

“Now the government is trying to make low-income families pay as a result of their incompetence.”