#KeepTheUplift: people are slamming the Tories’ Universal Credit cut

A Universal Credit protest image

The Tories’ cut to Universal Credit was at the front of many people’s minds on Wednesday 14 July. A campaigning trade union group had organised a day of action across the UK on the 14th.

Universal Credit chaos

The Canary has been covering Universal Credit during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. There’s been a lot of debate about the £20 a week uplift. In April 2020, the DWP increased the rate of Universal Credit by this amount. Then, the chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed in his Budget on Wednesday 3 March 2021 that the DWP would keep the £20 uplift. But as the Mirror pointed out, 6 million people still faced a:

£20-a-week cut

This is because Sunak and the DWP have only put the £20 increase in place until September 2021.

The Canary previously reported on how some research called the £20 uplift “inadequate” anyway. It found that people were still financially struggling on Universal Credit. This was even with the extra money. Now, the government has also released the latest inflation figures. The cost of goods and services, driven by increases to things like food, rose by 2.5% year-on-year in June. This may well mean that the £20 uplift is now worth less than it was in April 2020.

So, amid all this on 14 July, people were campaigning to keep the £20 – and more.

Unite against the cut

Unite Community is a division of Unite the Union. It’s been taking action against the Tories’ and DWP’s £20 cut. The group said on Facebook:

Read on...

A warm home and food are not luxuries but for the six million people who rely on Universal Credit to get by, it’s literally the difference between eating and heating.

Unite Community organised leafleting sessions and street stalls across the UK. And people took to social media to call out the Tories’ action.


People were posting using #KeepTheUplift and #CancelTheCut. A Mirror journalist got involved:

So did several Labour MPs:

People shared their personal stories:

People also used #20MoreForAll. This is because 2.2 million people still claim so-called ‘legacy benefits’. These include Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Three-quarters of these claimants are disabled people. And the government has not increased their social security payments in line with the Universal Credit uplift.

The cruellest of cuts

Sunak and the DWP’s £20 a week cut will further entrench deprivation in the UK. As The Canary has documented, inequality and poverty have got worse since March last year. For example:

  • The number of households living in destitution more than doubled in 2020.
  • A parliamentary report suggested more people died of coronavirus and suffered unnecessarily during the pandemic due to historical Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) cuts.
  • People using foodbanks rose even more; 33% for the Trussell Trust alone.

Now, the Tories seem hell-bent on making matters worse. The opposition to this needs to be strong and vocal. And Unite Community’s day of action served as an important part of the fight.

Featured image via Unite Community 

Get involved

Unite Community and the union have launched a petition. You can read and sign it here. It calls on the Tories to cancel the cut and uplift legacy benefits, too. You can also write to your MP via the same link. And you can share your story about the DWP and social security with the groups, too.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. People withental health problems are currently being accessed over the phone , not only that but stopping there benefits allows the gov , even if an appeal is in favour of the claimant to be forced onto UC , if we where reporting this in another country it would be genocide , 35k deaths where is humanity , it’s not in the UK anywhere !!!!

      20 years I payed NI and tax , now I can’t feed my family !!!!!

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.