Crewe and Nantwich MP, Dr Kieran Mullan has this evening abstained on a vote to keep the £20 Universal Credit uplift.
The increased payment was introduced in April 2020 as an additional measure to further support those people in receipt of the benefit during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Those in receipt of the £20 uplift will see themselves worse off by £1000 per year should the scheme end in April 2021 as scheduled.
The abstention comes after a group of Conservative MPs, The Northern Research Group (NRG) of which the Crewe and Nantwich MP is a member, wrote to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak asking for the payments to continue, a statement issued by them said:
The £1,000 uplift to Universal Credit has been a real life-saver for people throughout this pandemic. To end it now would be devastating.
Although the motion by the Labour Party, passed 278 – 0, it is not binding.
According to the 2020/2021 Joseph Rowntree Report, the move would see an increase in poverty should the Chancellor not keep the increased payment.
The report says:
It is clear that poverty will increase if this government support is removed from April 2021, as we face much higher unemployment than pre-coronavirus, as well as the continuing uncertain impact of the end of the Brexit transition period.
The report also found that 14.5 million people in the UK were classed as currently living in poverty in the UK.
Free School Meals
In a further vote due this evening, it is expected that Conservative MPs will abstain on a second Labour Party motion calling for free school meals to be extended over the February half-term period.
The MP has previously voted against a similar motion back in 2020.