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18 January, 2021 Open access

Commons votes in favour of Opposition Day Debate motion calling on the government to maintain the £20 'uplift' to universal credit and working tax credit

With the government choosing to abstain, House votes in favour of non-binding motion by 278 votes to zero

The House of Commons has this evening voted in favour of an Opposition Day Debate motion calling on the government to maintain the £20 'uplift' to universal credit and working tax credit introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Introduced by Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds, the motion read - 

'That this House believes that the Government should stop the planned cut in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit in April and give certainty today to the six million families for whom it is worth an extra £1,000 a year.' 

Responding for the government, Work and Pensions Minister Will Quince outlined the support the government has provided to people affected by Covid-19 and said that the Chancellor has consistently stepped up to support jobs and livelihoods throughout the pandemic. With the Budget set for 3 March 2021, Mr Quince added, it is right to wait for more clarity on  the 'economic and social picture' before assessing the best way to support low-income families moving forward.

Following the debate, and with the government choosing to abstain, the House voted in favour of the motion by 278 votes to zero.

NB - votes on Opposition Day Debate motions are non-binding.

In response to the vote, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said

'It is disappointing that the Conservative Government refused to vote with Labour to provide families with certainty and secure our economy. They can still do the right thing and drop their plans to cut Universal Credit.

Britain is facing the worst recession of any major economy because of the Government’s incompetence and indecision. Families cannot be made to pay the price.'

For more information, a transcript of the debate is available from Hansard.