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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 November 2021

Tory Universal Credit crumbs no solution to cost of living crisis

photo JJ Ellison/CC

photo JJ Ellison/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Tanis Belsham-Wray, Leeds Socialist Party

The 20-a-week cut to Universal Credit has left 4.4 million households around 1,000 a year worse off.

In a partial U-turn in the recent budget, the government announced changes to 'plug the gap'. The 'taper rate' has been decreased from 63p to 55p. In short, this means working households on Universal Credit will gain an extra 8p for every 1 earned. The change effects approximately 1.9 million households, so around half of those on Universal Credit. The other half get nothing but rising bills and prices.

In order to make up for the 20-a-week cut, a worker would need to earn an extra 250 a week. On a minimum wage of 8.91 an hour, this would equate to an extra 28 hours work a week!

The Tory budget did nothing to address the crisis of unaffordable childcare facing families. Working parents typically pay more than half of their wages towards nursery fees. The average cost of 50 hours of childcare in a nursery for a child under two is 13,700 a year.

Universal Credit only covers 85% of childcare, and this is paid in arrears. For many parents, especially those on a low income or Universal Credit, going to work means having less money. Often the responsibility to stay at home falls on women.

The Tories continue to grapple with the problem of worker shortages in the economy. This is no doubt made worse by parents not being able to afford to work.

To encourage working families with children to increase hours or go back to work, we need a fundamental change to the childcare system. Currently, large parts of preschool education are in the private sector, run for profit. These providers must be taken into public ownership and childcare fully funded for those who need it.

We need to demand employers pay a wage that families can live off. That means getting organised in trade unions to fight for a pay rise, and to demand free childcare for all and a minimum wage of 15 an hour.

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In The Socialist 3 November 2021:


Socialist change to end climate change

Fight for socialism to end climate destruction

COP26 begins - workers strike for pay

COP26 News in brief

Campaigns news

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fund the fight for a socialist world

Sheffield students tirelessly campaigning for socialist change

Hackney children's centres: Campaigners see through council deception

East London gentrification plans exposed


Fight for a real wage rise for all

Local government cuts set to continue - we need councillors prepared to fight

Race to top for bankers

Fight for a 15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to youth rates

Water companies put profits before protecting our environment

Tories threaten arts students: we are prepared to fight back!

Tory Universal Credit crumbs no solution to cost of living crisis

Tory plans won't fix social care

Pay freeze lifted for civil servants - prepare now for the struggle for a decent rise

Workplace news

NEU: Strategy needed to bring members together to take national action

Oaks Park school strike spurred on by head's lies

Scunthorpe scaffs strike into fifth week

Unite leaflets supermarkets to build support for Weetabix fire and rehire strike

Plant engineers pay dispute

Fighting sexism

Sexism, safety and the profit system

International news

Sudan - mass protests and general strike against coup

Chile: International solidarity campaign to free political prisoners

Vaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism

Hunger strike in Calais for refugee rights

Protests against Sudan coup reach Britain


Home   |   The Socialist 3 November 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

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Related links:

Universal Credit:

triangleTories plunge millions further into poverty

triangleTory cuts to UC: we need a union fightback

triangleHands off the uplift

triangleMake the super-rich pay, not the poorest

triangleNo surprise, poverty is rising


triangleTory sleaze scandal continues, an ex-workers' MP responds

triangleHealth and care staff shortages worsened by Tory vaccine sacking threat

triangleHarsh Tory regime for benefit claimants and workers

triangleSleaze and pay a toxic mix for Tories


triangleUnite young and old to defend the pensions triple lock

triangleTories deliberately underfund childcare

triangleNew law ignores economic barriers to escaping domestic abuse


trianglePandemic homeless

triangleBig Energy piles on the misery


triangleHackney children's centres - more education cuts are devastating

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