Romford MP slammed for comments on Universal Credit uplift
- Credit: Office of Andrew Rosindell
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has come under fire for comments made on the uplift to Universal Credit.
A £20 boost was applied to the benefit at the beginning of the pandemic last year, before being extended for a further six months in March by chancellor Rishi Sunak.
But work and pensions minister Thérèse Coffey told MPs this week that the uplift will end in September, with all six million claimants to be informed in writing ahead of the planned withdrawal.
Speaking yesterday - Wednesday July 7 - on BBC's Politics Live, Mr Rosindell said: "I think there are people that quite like getting the extra £20 but maybe they don’t need it."
He has since faced criticism for this comment, with Jane Keane writing on Facebook: "20,000 + claimants in Havering. We will make sure they know Andrew doesn't think they need the money. He's out of touch."
Patricia Farrell posted that Mr Rosindell had "plenty to say for businesses" on the show but felt his comments were "anti people in poverty".
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The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that, as of May 13, there were 22,319 claimants of Universal Credit in the borough - up from 22,278 recorded the previous month.
On the above statement, a spokesperson for Mr Rosindell said: "Andrew's comments on Politics Live were widely taken out of context."
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Speaking to the panel yesterday, Mr Rosindell also said he did not think it's "sustainable" to have what he terms "a blanket benefit" uplifted permanently.
Asked to clarify this comment, the MP's spokesperson continued: "The harsh reality is that this country is much poorer than it was before this pandemic, yet the number of people on Universal Credit has doubled.
"As we pick up the pieces from this economic catastrophe, this continuing blanket uplift is simply not affordable.
"As the country gets back to normal, it is vital that the benefits system properly incentivises work while at the same time providing a safety net for those that need it.
"This is the system that Andrew supports: one that takes into account individual circumstances, incentivises work, but provides a generous safety net to those that need it."