Wythenshawe’s Marcus Rashford has urged the government to keep the £20 top up to Universal credit in his ongoing battle to end child hunger.
The Manchester United and England footballer says the government should be focussing on practical solutions to tackle child poverty instead of removing social security support.
“What is it going to take for these children to be prioritised,” he said. “Whilst we’ve come a long way in the last 20 months, placing the issue of child food poverty at the forefront, devastatingly, the issue is getting worse not better.”
“Whilst we’ve come a long way in the last 20 months, placing the issue of child food poverty at the forefront, devastatingly, the issue is getting worse not better.”
It is estimated that nearly one in six families with children experienced food insecurity during the past six months, meaning they struggled to afford to eat healthy food regularly.
And according to figures produced by Greater Manchester Poverty Action there are 200,00 children living in poverty in Greater Manchester.
The removal of the £20 Universal Credit uplift is due to be implemented in October and Labour MPs are planning to force a House of Commons vote on the issue tomorrow.
Labour’s work and pensions pokesperson, Jonathan Reynolds, said: “Labour is giving Conservative MPs the chance to do the right thing, stand up to the prime minister and defend their constituents from this devastating cut. Once again, this government’s rhetoric doesn’t stand up to reality. They promised investment in the north and Midlands but are instead pulling billions out of local economies.”
A government spokesperson said: “As announced by the chancellor at the budget, the uplift to universal credit was always temporary. It was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.
“Universal credit will continue to provide vital support for those both in and out of work and it’s right that the government should focus on our plan for jobs, supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more.”