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The Welsh constituencies to be hardest hit by the cut to Universal Credit

Vale of Clwyd

All but four Welsh constituencies will see over a third of working-age families with children hit by the planned £1,040-a-year cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit in October.

This includes all of the 6 Conservative gains at the 2019 General Election (with 49% of families affected in Vale of Clwyd, 43% in Wrexham, 42% in Clwyd South, 40% in Delyn and Ynys Mon and 38% in Bridgend).

The independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation has used the latest official data released last week to produce a comprehensive analysis of which parliamentary constituencies will be most affected by the scheduled cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.

The looming cut will have a particularly severe impact in Rhondda and Cardiff South and Penarth constituencies (with half of all families with children being in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits), with Vale of Clwyd, Torfaen and Newport East all on 49%.

Only four of the forty Westminster constituencies in Wales have fewer than one in three families with children affected (Pontypridd, Gower, Monmouth and Cardiff North), although even in the constituency with the lowest proportion affected (Cardiff North), around one in four families with children is affected.

Peter Matejic, Deputy Director of Evidence and Impact at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:

“We are just over a month away from the UK Government imposing the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War. This latest analysis lays bare the deep and far-reaching impact that cutting Universal Credit will have on low-income families in Wales.

“Now is the time for MPs and MSs of all parties to step up and oppose this cut to their constituents’ living standards. Plunging low-income families into deeper poverty and debt is no way to level up. It’s not too late for the Prime Minister and Chancellor to listen to the huge opposition in Wales and around the UK to this damaging cut and change course.”

On average 22% of all working-age families (with or without children) in Wales will experience a £1,040-a-year cut to their incomes on 6 October, amounting to around 275,000 families. This is slightly higher than the average of 21% across Great Britain, while the gap for families with children is bigger, with 42% of families with children in Wales affected, compared to 39% in Great Britain.

When the analysis is widened out to all working-age families (with or without children), six constituencies would see more than 1 in 4 of all families affected, including Conservative gain Vale of Clwyd.

Dr Steffan Evans, Policy and Research Officer for the Bevan Foundation said:

“The latest analysis provides a stark reminder of just how devastating an impact the cut to Universal Credit will have on all our communities in Wales. Nearly a third of Welsh children are already trapped in poverty. The cut to Universal Credit will hit these families hard, further deepening some of the inequalities that have developed as a result of the pandemic.”