Manchester Central have joined with eight other Trussell Trust-affiliated foodbanks across Greater Manchester in writing to all of the region’s 27 MPs, calling for them to make the £20 Univeral & Working Tax Credits uplift permanent and extend it to all recipients of legacy benefits.
Along with the letters, the MPs have also received a comprehensive Greater Manchester Briefing (available to read here) from the foodbanks, explaining their experiences of rising unemployment and household poverty as well as explaining the devastating impact that removing the uplift would have to the recovery of the Greater Manchester economy.
Single people over 25 will see their weekly Universal Credit payment slashed to £74 – the lowest real terms level of unemployment support for 30 years.
According to the Resolution Foundation, over one third of working-age Greater Manchester households will be impacted by this cut, rising to over 40% of working-age households in some constituencies.
In six months between April and September 2020, the Trussell Trust foodbanks in Greater Manchester distributed 17,000 more parcels than the same period in 2019. In 2020 Manchester Central Foodbank distributed two and a half times as many parcels as in 2019.
The cut in incomes will also take £335 million out of the regional recovery, stifling the ability of Greater Manchester’s economy to bounce back quickly from the recession created by the Covid-19 response. The impact will be most felt by businesses and services in the most deprived neighbourhoods and constituencies, which need government support more than any others.
The foodbanks would like to encourage all residents of Greater Manchester to get in touch with their MP to ask for their public support. You can also follow the hashtag #KeepTheLifeline on social media to stay up-to-date with the issue.