Sack a Tory, Get a Tory. But what’s the real story?

Sedgemoor Labour Leader Brian Smedley gives his verdict on the cabinet reshuffle

‘Oh good they’ve sacked Robert Jenrick. Oh God they’ve replaced him with Michael Gove! And out goes inept Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, fresh back from sunning himself on a Mediterranean beach as Kabul fell,  and there goes  appalling education secretary Gavin Williamson, and now it’s the turn of ….well, it doesn’t matter does it. Leader of Sedgemoor Labour group, cllr Brian Smedley (Labour, Westover) thinks it’s all a smokescreen anyway “It doesn’t matter which inept half wit they sack there’s always another waiting in the wings to take their place and carry on the work of this devastating Tory government. They sack your least favourite Tory, they bring in another Tory . in fact this isn’t the story of the week, the real Tory Story this week is hidden away behind it. It’s the Tory £20 cut in Universal Credit uplift which will hit 6 million people and push half a million into poverty. You vote Tory, you get Tory and then they act like Tories. Surprised?”

Here in Somerset the forecast is that people will lose more than £12 Million in the Universal Credit cut hitting both local families and the local economy. The cut, which will see 12,440 recipients of Universal Credit lose £1,040 a year, will cost Somerset £12,937,600. The analysis comes as Somerset Conservative MPs (including Liddell-Granger, Heappy, Pow & Warburton) refuse to back a Labour motion in the House of Commons to ditch the cut.

Leigh Redman
Leigh Redman, Labour opposition leader at County

Cllr Leigh Redman, leader of the Labour Group on Somerset County Council said “We’re still in this crisis. Families in Somerset are desperately struggling to get back on their feet, yet this government wants to kick their legs out from under them. Whacking families with a £1,000 cut in a support won’t just hurt them, it will hammer the local economy too. These proposals will take food off the table and more than £12 Million out of the local economy.Yet at the same time as the Conservatives hammer working people we know that they can find £2bn for crony contracts for their friends and donors. That tells you everything you need to know about whose side this government is really on – and it’s not us here in Somerset”

12,440 people in Somerset receive Universal Credit and are set to see a £20 a week – £1,040 a year – cut at the end of September. That’s a combined total of £12,937,600 .

Just 4 Conservative MPs joined Labour in opposing the cut. The motion read: ‘That this House calls on the Government to cancel its planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit which from the end of September 2021 will reduce support for many hardworking families by £1,040 a year.’

Universal Credit – the facts: There is a growing consensus in opposition to these plans, including Labour, the public, the House of Commons, dozens of charities and campaign groups and now, the 6 former Conservative Work and Pensions Secretaries of State all agree that this money must remain in place.

In September 2020, analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) found that the withdrawal of the uplift will risk bringing 700,000 more people, including 300,000 more children into poverty. It could also bring 500,000 more people into deep poverty (classified as being more than 50% below the poverty line).

5 million families claim Universal Credit, including over 3.5 million children. Combined with those claiming Working Tax Credits, this cut will impact 6.2 million families.

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