In a debate on 26th February on the subject of Universal Credit, Frank made a statement that included the following few words regarding the budget which is to take place on Wednesday. Let us hope that Philip Hammond will have heard these words and will take them seriously as he prepares for his speech and for the actions that he is responsible for.
“In 1953, Harold Macmillan made the decision on behalf of the whole country that, as living standards rose, poorer people would benefit from those rises. Ever since then, Governments have tried to hold to that commitment. They have had varying degrees of success, but their intent has been that the poor should share in rising living standards. Since 2011, we have had a freeze on benefits that means that the least advantaged—if I can put it in a sarcastic way—have suffered. For example, a single parent who is out of work and has one child has lost £888 of what their income today would be had the freeze not taken place. A single earner couple with two children have suffered the amazing cut in their living standard of £1,845. That alone, I hope, will get the alarm bells ringing in the Treasury, so that when the Chancellor makes his statement come the spring, we will see some change on banning the freeze for the final year.”