Over 9000 South Tyneside children could be affected by cut in Universal Credit as poverty campaigners urge government to reverse plans

Over 9000 children in South Tyneside could be affected by a cut in Universal Credit, according to a regional child poverty campaigner.

Amanda Bailey, director of the North East Child Poverty Commission.
Amanda Bailey, director of the North East Child Poverty Commission.

The North East Child Poverty Commission have renewed calls for the government to reverse an impending £20 a week cut to Universal Credit after figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions confirm the number of children and young people across the North East who will be directly affected by the move.

As of May 2021 – the latest available household-level figures – some 208,470 households across the region were in receipt of Universal Credit, 42% of which are families with children.

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In South Tyneside, the figures show 13,244 households are currently in receipt of Universal credit, with a total of 9,939 children and young people in those households, with the cut set to take effect in six weeks time.

The Commission recently coordinated a cross-sector letter from organisations across the North East which urged the Chancellor not to go ahead with the reduction, as part of the #KeepTheLifeLine campaign.

Amanda Bailey, Director of the North East Child Poverty Commission, said: “Even before Covid-19 hit, our region had one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country and the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit has therefore been a lifeline for families across the North East, both in and out of work.

“Taking this away – in what would be the biggest overnight cut to social security since the Second World War – will push even more families in the North East into poverty and cause severe hardship for those already struggling to stay afloat.

“It’s not too late for the Government to do the right thing and recognise the long-term importance of having a social security system that both protects those at risk of being pulled into poverty and is strong enough to pull people out.

“We now know that tens of thousands of children and young people across our region will be directly affected if this cut goes ahead in just six weeks’ time – and we again urge all North East MPs to join us in speaking up for them.”

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