As many as 17% of hard-pressed families across Lewes constituency, which includes the towns of Seaford, Polegate, Newhaven, Lewes and surrounding villages, face being left worse off when the government ends the uplift to Universal Credit next month.
New data from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation exposes the true nature of how badly some areas will be hit by the £20 Universal Credit cut, which is opposed by local Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson, James MacCleary.
In the report, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimate that the Universal Credit cut alone could force 500,000 people, almost half of them children, into poverty. Their breakdown shows that some 5,930 families in Lewes constituency will be harmed by the government's cut, with 33% of families with children being affected adversely.
Responding to the data, James MacCleary, Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson, said:
"It is time that Maria Caulfield stood up in Parliament and put her constituents ahead of her party. Only the Tories would think that the place to start making savings is by clawing desperately-needed money back from those with least. Maria Caulfield should join those in her party who have already said the increase in universal credit should be made permanent.
"There are nearly 6,000 families across the constituency in Seaford, Newhaven, Polegate, Lewes and our villages anxiously facing the prospect of Caulfield and her government taking away this much-needed top up at the most difficult time.
"Liberal Democrats are calling for the Universal Credit uplift to be made permanent. Rather than looking at cutting support for those with least, the government should be exploring ways to increase support further."
Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain MP added:
“Just as we begin to hope that Covid is being tamed in the UK, the Government is ripping support from millions of families across the country. We cannot have a full recovery if families are struggling to make ends meet.
“The Prime Minister's claim that he wants people to live by their own 'efforts' rather than 'welfare' shows how out of touch he really is. With almost half of those receiving Universal Credit already in work and with many having young families, this cut will leave parents and their children behind despite their efforts."