Marcus Rashford shames Boris Johnson for plan to cut £20 benefits lifeline
The England and Manchester United forward warned: “Instead of removing vital support, we should be focusing on developing a long-term roadmap out of this child hunger pandemic.”
Marcus Rashford has called on Boris Johnson and the government to not axe the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit.
The Manchester United forward, who last year forced Boris Johnson into a U-turn on taking free school meals from kids during the holidays, said millions of people will ‘lose a lifeline’ when the extra money is scrapped next month.
Marcus warned: “Instead of removing vital support, we should be focusing on developing a long-term roadmap out of this child hunger pandemic.”
Almost eight in 10 on UC will find it harder to feed their kids when £80 a month worse off under the cut, a poll by the The Food Foundation charity found.
It comes after Rashford launched a national campaign with The Food Foundation to end child food poverty earlier this month, in which he called on members of the public to write to their MPs on the issue.
The Manchester-born footballer also wants the government to provide long-term funding for food and activities during school holidays and expand the Healthy Start voucher scheme to households earning £20,000 or less after benefits.
Anna Taylor, the executive director of the Food Foundation, which is working with Rashford, said food insecurity was “surging and is set to get a lot worse”.
She said: “It takes its toll not just on the wellbeing of children, but also on wider society. Getting ahead of this crisis is the litmus test of the government’s ambition to level up.
“Stopping the cut to universal credit and extending free school meals to poor children who currently miss out would provide a minimum protection for at-risk children. It is baffling that currently the government is planning neither. That’s why it is so important that everyone gets their voices heard and asks their MP to support this in the forthcoming spending review.”
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, on Sunday defended the planned universal credit cut, saying salaries were rising faster than the cost of living and that the government needed to rein in spending from the pandemic.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “I think most people recognise that if it’s brought in for the pandemic, it’s going to end as we move back to people going back to work and more normal times.
“We can’t keep all these things in place, otherwise you’d have to put several pennies on income tax to pay for the policy to run.”