The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Chancellor for failing to introduce a comprehensive plan to save jobs after it was revealed that 16,440 of people in Hull are currently on Universal Credit.
Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine criticised Rishi Sunak's "constant chop-and-change approach", urging him to put in place a proper plan to protect jobs as the Government still struggles to get a grip over rising cases of coronavirus.
Leader of Hull City Council's Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr Mike Ross has written to the Chief Executive of Hull City Council calling on the Council to demand more financial support from the government for those hit by Covid19 and an extension of the Furlough scheme until June. He stated: "Employers and Employees alike in Hull need some breathing space."
The figures revealed that 9.3% of people of working age in Hull are on Universal Credit.
This follows the Liberal Democrats' call for the Prime Minister to negotiate a 6 month Adjustment Period for businesses, giving them crucial breathing space once the UK leaves the transition period.
Leader of Hull City Council's Lib Dem Group, Cllr Mike Ross, added:
"These unemployment figures reveal just how many people in Hull have been let down by this Conservative Government. Too many families will be worrying about how they're going to put food on the table this Christmas thanks to Rishi Sunak's failure to keep his promise that no-one would be left behind.
"That is why the Liberal Democrats have urged Hull City Council to join us in urging the Chancellor to roll out more support for people in Hull. Unfortunately the pandemic is far from over and it is crucial we see the Government step up to support the most vulnerable in the coming months."
Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:
"The Chancellor's constant chop-and-change approach to the furlough scheme and his inability to put together a comprehensive plan to save jobs is taking a huge toll.
"The Government must ensure furlough stays in place until at least June – and extend support to the three million people who still remain excluded from any support whatsoever. Just as crucially, Ministers must ensure there is an Adjustment Period for businesses before new trade rules begin, to avoid a second spike in redundancies."
Letter sent to Hull City Council's Chief Executive:
Dear Mr Jukes,
Re: Universal Credit claimants rise in Hull
You may well already be aware and perhaps share my concerns with the recent news that the Universal Credit claimant rates continue to rise in Hull; this is a sure sign that many people in Hull are struggling financially. This follows the news that unemployment figures across the UK have also risen once again.
Families in Hull are likely to struggle this Christmas, this may be for some of them their worst Christmas on record. Financially it is going to be tough for many families to afford to put food on the table during what is supposed to be a merry and festive time.
It is my view that the Government needs to offer Hull more financial support in this pandemic. Following the Council motion that passed in November calling for an extension of the Furlough scheme and the announcement today that the scheme will now continue until April, I believe the case should be made again for an extension until June. These latest figures once again make the case even more imperative to call for an extension of the furlough scheme until June. Can I request that the council step up calls upon the government for greater financial support for the residents of Hull hit hard by the Covid19 pandemic.
COUNCILLOR MIKE ROSS
LEADER OF LIBERAL DEMOCRAT GROUP