Keep the Lifeline
In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, the Government made an important decision to give an extra £20 a week to those receiving Universal Credit, helping those on the lowest incomes to continue paying their bills and feeding their families during an uncertain time.
At the beginning of October 2021 the Government is planning to cut this £20 a week overnight, leaving six million families £1,040 worse off a year. For many, this money is the difference between keeping afloat and falling into serious poverty.
At Caritas Westminster we work with hundreds of social action projects run by parishes and schools to support those struggling in their local community. We see the real problems people are facing daily to get by. We want the Government to understand how hard this cut will hit those we work with and reverse their decision to take away £20 a week from those on the lowest incomes.
Please join us by using the template letter below to write to your MP and asking them to stop the cut and #KeepTheLifeline.
Write to your MP today by following these steps:
1. Use our template below to draft a letter to your MP – personalise it by adding your experience, or the experience of those you support, to give more impact.
2. Find your MP by typing in your postcode here – click on them to find their email address
3. Email your letter to your MP – make sure to include your address at the end so they know you are one of their constituents.
4. Please copy in email@example.com to your email or let us know you have taken action so we can keep track of which MPs have been contacted, and understand the issues. Please be assured we will not share your letter without your permission.
5. Share this template and encourage others to get involved too before the cut in early October 2021.
Template letter to MPs – or click here to download it as a word document, to edit and copy into an email.
Dear XXX MP,
My name is [insert name] and I am [enter your job role, position or organisation here] and one of your constituents. I am writing to raise my deep concern about the £20 cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit that is scheduled for October.
This cut will affect 6 million low income families, taking away £1,040 a year from them, and pushing half a million adults and children into serious poverty. In our constituency the cut will have a huge impact… [Please add your concerns here. What impact will it have on your network and community? What should your MP be aware of? E.g. impact on children, impact on tenants being able to make rent payments]
Social security should be strong enough for all of us to rely on when we need a lifeline – because, as the pandemic has shown us, life is full of things we can’t plan for.
A lifeline that’s left to wear thin and threadbare isn’t strong enough to pull families safely through hard times. In recent years, cuts and freezes to our levels of support have left many families living with constant insecurity, unable to meet their everyday needs. Instead of protecting families from poverty, many have been pulled deeper into it. This is particularly true for those receiving legacy benefits, many of whom are disabled or carers, and never received the £20 uplift at all.
Instead of now taking this support away, the £20 should be made permanent and extended to all those receiving benefits, so none are excluded from this lifeline.
As our local MP, I would appreciate it if you could please raise my concerns about this critical issue in parliament, as well as with the Prime Minister and Chancellor. If there is any more information that would be useful, do let me know. I look forward to hearing back from you soon about what action you have taken to prevent the cut and support those on low incomes.
[Address – so they know you are their constituent]
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and to let us know how you get on.
Keep an eye on our social media accounts for an easy way to spread the word on this campaign and receive updates, and follow the hashtag #KeepTheLifeline