Cllr Joanna Reynolds is a councillor in Clapham Common ward.
We all know the pandemic has had a devastating impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. So many people have died – over 300 in Lambeth from Covid – and many hard working people have lost their jobs. This is a time when we all need to support each other.
The £20 universal credit top up must stay beyond the end of March – it must stay forever. Lambeth is lobbying the government to continue this payment indefinitely to give some certainty to those families to whom it means so much.
37,000 children in Lambeth live in poverty and 10,000 children receive free school meals. 33,000 families receive universal credit. And all of these numbers are rising and will continue to rise as the impact of Covid and leaving the European Union continues to bite. Think about these numbers – 37,000 children in poverty; 33,000 families receiving universal credit; 10,000 children needing free school meals.
We want to live in a fair and caring community. To take money from the people who need it most, especially in the middle of a pandemic, is uncaring, unthinkable and shows how little this government understands the issues that so many face. To propose removing free school meals at any time is cruel.
It is time now to take back control and to continue to build the community in Lambeth we all want. Helping each other, supporting each other, caring for each other. That’s the Britain we all want to live in.
The Conservatives have spent the last 10 years bleeding the NHS and benefits dry. It is time to stop.
Do the right thing, Conservative Government. Keep the £20 payment. Make the decision now.