Rupa Huq says chancellor must do something urgently particularly for the young
Rupa Huq MP with Jobcentre staff during a visit in October
Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq has called upon the Chancellor to take “urgent action” to save livelihoods and prevent a rise in poverty after it emerged that the number of benefits claimants in her constituency has increased by 178% in a year.
The number of 16-24 year-olds claiming unemployment related benefits in Ealing Central and Acton has risen by 210% since November 2019
Data published by the House of Commons Library this week revealed that there were 7,375 people claiming unemployment related benefits this November - equivalent to 8.7% of the population aged 16-64. This figure is up by 4,720 since November 2019.
The claimant rate in Ealing Central and Acton is higher than the national equivalent, which currently stands at 6.3%. Meanwhile redundancies in the UK hit a record 370,000 in the three months to October according to the Office for National Statistics.
Source: ONS, via Nomis
Dr Huq blames Rishi Sunak for exacerbating the spiralling rate of job losses and business closures. She said, “It’s no coincidence that claimant rates rocketed when the clock was ticking down to the Chancellor’s many furlough cliff edges, with rising employer contributions putting businesses under pressure.
“Sunak’s irresponsible decisions haven’t just cost jobs – they’ve left us in the worst recession of any major economy. It was his decision to threaten the end of the furlough scheme time and again, and his decision to wait until the last possible minute to change course. He has let down working people in my constituency.”
She added that job losses were hitting young people particularly hard. There were 1,055 claimants aged 18-24 in November compared to 340 in November 2019, an increase of 210%.
Source: ONS, via Nomis
“Talented young people have been languishing in limbo through no fault of their own for months. This could have a significant impact on life chances for the most disadvantaged. The Government has wasted billions on contracts for cronies - it can and must do more to stimulate growth so that youngsters can get a foothold in the jobs market.
“Today’s young people must not be forgotten about, or treated as collateral damage. The Government has a moral duty to ensure they do not become a lost generation on its watch.”
The latest figures have sparked fears that UK deprivation levels could reach a scale unseen in generations. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation [JRF] has already predicted that 2million people will be pushed into poverty as a result of the UK’s Covid-driven recession.
Dr Huq said reforms to the UK’s social security system are needed to stem rising levels of poverty. The MP, who spoke on Wednesday at the launch of a report on the economic impact of the pandemic on single parents, said the Government must maintain the £20 uplift in Universal Credit, end the 5-week wait for UC, and suspend the benefit cap.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
December 19, 2020