Following Labour’s non-binding Opposition Day Debate on Universal Credit, Rachel said:

“Despite the divisive headlines Labour’s Opposition Day Debates generate, I would like to set the record straight. The Government has not cut support for families and individuals in this pandemic.

£280 BILLION

to support people’s jobs and incomes through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self Employed Income Support Scheme & business loans.

“Labour use these non-binding votes to mislead people and cause division. They attempt to make it look like the Government just doesn’t want to help anyone at all when this is far from the truth. In reality, its clear that Labour just want to score party political points during a pandemic. This scaremongering must stop.

“As the vote was non-binding, it therefore had no impact on the policy itself. In fact, the Government has not yet made a decision on the temporary uplift in Universal Credit, but a decision will be made in due course.

“The Prime Minister has asked the Department for Work and Pensions and the Treasury to continue working together at pace as we consider how best to support those most in need. Decisions on future spending are normally made at Budgets, with any decision to be made in due course.

“Throughout this pandemic this Government has protected those most in need – spending over £280 billion to support people’s jobs and incomes through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self Employed Income Support Scheme and business loans.

“We have additionally boosted our safety net welfare system by over £7 billion – delivering a temporary increase to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.

“The fact is Universal Credit is supporting over 5 million households in their time of need. The Leader of the Labour Party continues to call for the benefit to be scrapped, at a cost of £55 billion, showing once again that the Labour Party puts politics before people.

With no explanation of what Labour would replace Universal Credit with, their plan of scrapping Universal Credit would cause huge upheaval and ongoing uncertainty to the millions of people who rely on it.

“Putting aside the politicking we’re seeing during this pandemic, I will continue to work hard to support my constituents and have further conversations with Ministers about how we best support the most vulnerable.”