MP’s vote for Benefit Freeze

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DWP chief Amber Rudd
DWP chief Amber Rudd

Austerity is over but not for the poorest in society!

Theresa May declared ‘austerity is over’ after nine years of cuts. last week MPs were given a 2.7% increase to their already huge basic salary rounding it off at just under £80,000.

last night the same MP’s voted for the fourth year in a row to a benefit freeze from April  costing families up to £1,800 a year

The freeze passed the House of Commons after more than an hour’s debate and will take effect on April 8.

Shadow Work and Pensions secretary Margaret Greenwood said: “We are deeply concerned that most working age benefits remain frozen.

“The fact is that austerity continues under this government and it is pushing individuals, families and children into poverty.”

MsGreenwood challenged ministers to bring forward legislation to end the longstanding freeze by next month rather than wait until 2020.

She said her party would do “whatever is possible” to ensure its passage ahead of the 2019/20 financial year.

Work and Pensions Minister Justin Tomlinson said changes to Universal Credit will see the work allowance increase by £1,000, helping 2.4 million working families.

But Labour’s Alison McGovern asked:

“Is that it? We’re in the middle of a benefits freeze that is seeing family poverty rise and that is all the minister has got to say about it.”

Mr Tomlinson hit back, saying the Government was providing “support for the most vulnerable in society to the tune of £3.5 billion”.

Figures last month showed a series of benefit freezes and caps since the Tories took power in 2010 have cost families £888 to £1,845 per year.

Typical parents in work with two children would be £1,845 better off in 2019/20 if not for the freezes since 2010, the House of Commons Library said.

Working parents with one child are losing out by £1,429, the research added.

Meanwhile jobless single parents with two kids also lose out by £1,303, or £888 if they have one child.

And jobless couples with two kids lose out by £1,515, or £1,099 if they have one child, the independent Library.

Today the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, whose chair Frank Field commissioned the research, warned the freeze is “driving destitution and poverty”.

Mr Field will quiz Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd on the freeze next week.

He told her in a letter: “Many families are facing destitution as the support they need through the benefits system is simply not keeping up with the rising cost of living.”

Mr Field said the freeze had already saved £2.5bn of its intended £3bn due to higher than expected inflation.

And he urged Ms Rudd – who has said she wants the freeze to finish in April 2020 – to “end the benefits freeze a year early”.

Benefit and pension rates from 8 April 2019

Here’s how rates are due to change – stated weekly unless otherwise shown.

Attendance allowance: £87.65 (up from £85.60)

Bereavement support payment: £2,500 or £3,500 lump sum (frozen)

Benefit cap: £23,000 a year in London / £20,000 outside (frozen)

Carers’ allowance: £66.15 (up from £64.60)

Disability Living Allowance: £148.85 maximum (up from 145.35)

Employment and Support Allowance: £73.10 basic for over-25s (frozen)   

ESA component for ‘work-related activity’ group: £29.05 (frozen)

ESA component for ‘support’ group: £38.55 (up from £37.65)

ESA severe disability premium: £65.85 (up from £64.30)

Housing benefit: £73.10 for single people over 25; £114.85 for couples over 18 (frozen)

Jobseekers’ allowance: £73.10 for over-25s, £57.90 under-25s (frozen)

Maternity allowance: £148.68 (up from £145.18)

Statutory maternity/paternity leave pay: £118 (up from £116)

PIP daily living enhanced: £87.65 (up from £85.60)

PIP daily living standard: £58.70 (up from £57.30)

PIP mobility enhanced: £61.20 (up from £59.75)

PIP mobility standard: £23.20 (up from £22.65)

New State Pension: £168.60 (up from £164.35)

Old State Pension: £129.20 (up from £125.95)

Pension credit: £167.25 minimum guarantee for a single person (up from £163)

 

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