Invicta News

Read all about it

Latest Local National On this day Politics Top Story

Medway Council deny Universal Credit motion

Last night, a motion to mount pressure onto the Government regarding Universal Credit was defeated.

This motion was made in response to the successful non-binding vote on the issue of extending a £20 increase in Universal Credit put forward in Parliament by the Labour party.

The Medway Labour and Co-operative deputy leader, Cllr Theresa Murray, motioned for Medway Council to write a letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rushi Sunak in support of this.

Covid-19 testing centre at Rochester Cathedral Credit: PA Media

However, after statements from Cllr Theresa Murray and her fellow Labour councillors, Cllr Vince Maple, Chatham Central, and Cllr Alex Peterson, Rochester West, the motion was denied.

One of the key speakers of the issue is Chatham councillor and Medway Labour and Co-operative group leader, Vince Maple. He hoped for cross-party support for this motion after his party released a study that this will affect over 20,000 Medway residents. He said before the meeting last night:

“I know lots of residents across Medway who have never been on Universal credit before the coronavirus crisis and they found themselves in really challenging circumstances. The concern absolutely is that people have got a real risk now that they will be in a really challenging financial situation.”

There have been comments from critics who claim that Labour has turned this issue into a political stunt. Vince Maple said this is not the case. He explained:

“This is more serious than politics. Coronavirus is a massive global issue and one of the things we’ve got to do is help those that are most vulnerable.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak who will set out the next Budget on March 3, 2021
Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

An alternative idea which is reportedly under consideration is a one-time payment of £500 to Universal Credit claimants, which would cost half as much.

However, the think tank the Resolution Foundation have ridiculed the idea.

Resolution Foundation chief executive Torsten Bell told Radio 4: “It’s bad because you have an arbitrary cut-off point of a certain date when somebody has to have been on Universal Credit.

“It’d also provide a slightly perverse incentive for people to make sure they are on Universal Credit at that point, while somebody who was out of work for a whole year afterwards would get nothing.”

Whilst Conservative councillors voted down the motion, they did not participate in the debate beforehand to give reasons against it. Invicta News has reached out to Conservative Medway councillors before and after the council meeting.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *