Last night, Heledd Fychan MS took part in a protest against the removal of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit organised by People’s Assembly Wales, Unite Community Cardiff & Area Branch and Cardiff People’s Assembly.
Though the weather deterred some people from attending, everyone that braved the weather were united in demanding that everyone should have an adequate income, housing and food.
In a passionate address to the crowd, Heledd spoke of her anger at the way people are being let down by the Conservative UK Government and the way the rich are getting richer, whilst the poor get poorer. She also spoke of her anger at the fact that poverty is regarded by some as a choice, and the lack of action taken both by the UK Government and the Welsh Government to truly tackle child poverty here in Wales as well as putting an end to food poverty.
As Heledd has previously stated in the Senedd, the £20-a-week universal credit increase has been a lifeline for the people of South Wales Central; it has allowed more families to afford to live, afford to feed their children, buy clothes, pay for electricity, light, heating, necessary broadband connectivity, and reduced some of the worst economic impacts of the pandemic.
Further, had Universal Credit grown in line with GDP per capita, it would be £40 a week higher, and yet the Tory UK government have even scrapped the £20 uplift. Welsh Government must now pursue the devolution of welfare in order to tackle poverty in Wales, and in the meantime, maintain flexibility around the discretionary assistance fund to keep a lifeline available for those who most need it.