The rejection of a Welsh Labour Group Motion at a meeting of Powys County Council today (Thurs 23rd Sept) seeking to commit the County Council to oppose the UK Government’s proposed £20 reduction in Universal Credit payments to families on low incomes is ‘a major blow to the people of the county and will push even more families into poverty, damage the Powys economy and increase the pressure on county council services’, according to the Council’s Welsh Liberal Democrat – Green Group.
The Original Motion called on the Council to:-
- Write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Work and Pensions Secretary and the Prime Minister to oppose the planned cut to Universal Credit;
- Call on Fay Jones MP and Craig Williams MP to stand up for families in Powys and oppose the cut to Universal Credit; and
- Work in partnership with advice agencies to support residents impacted by the Universal Credit cut.
Commenting on the outcome of the debate, Welsh Lib Dem – Green Group Leader, Cllr James Gibson-Watt said:-
“Unfortunately, Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Aled Davies, proposed an amendment that supported the £20 per week cut, claiming wrongly that the pandemic is over, and reduced the Council’s commitment to just working with advice agencies to help deal with the consequences of the cut, which is estimated will remove over £8 million per year from the Powys economy. With the support of his group colleagues and many Independent group members this amendment was narrowly carried. This is highly regrettable. It shows that the Tories have little concern for combatting the rising levels of poverty in Powys, have scant regard for the need to stimulate the local economy and that at heart the Tory Party is still the ‘nasty party’.”