Community leaders in Lichfield have warned that the proposed £20 a week cut to Universal Credit will be “devastating” for some residents.

An open letter to the city’s MP Michael Fabricant has urged him to support calls to extend the uplift which is due to expire.

It has been signed by leaders at Lichfield Foodbank, Lichfield City of Sanctuary, LifeChurch, St Chad’s Church and the founder of domestic abuse charity Pathway Project.

The group tell Mr Fabricant that “no-one should have to suffer the indignity of not being able to afford the essentials in life”.

“We know that in the difficult winter ahead, people – young and old – in Lichfield will be forced to skip meals. 

“We know that families in our city already worry every day about switching on the heating and feeding their children.

“Many families are nearly at breaking point but just about manage to keep their heads above water.

“That’s why we’re saying it would be wrong of the UK Government to take away £20 a week from already precarious incomes and push even more people through the doors of Lichfield Foodbank.

“We believe the answer must be to ensure our social security system provides people with enough money to cover the essentials. At the very least we’re saying this October, the UK Government must choose to protect people and choose to keep the lifeline.

“And we’re asking you, Mr Fabricant, to speak for the people of Lichfield who need your support and to oppose the £20 per week cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits.”

Open letter to Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant

“Increasing food insecurity in Lichfield”

The letter also revealed that for the 12 month period up until the end of March 2021, there had been a 33% increase in demand for foodbank services across the country – but Lichfield Foodbank saw a 70% jump in the numbers of food parcels handed out.

The increase in use has mirrored a five year period in Lichfield which has seen the amount of food distributed to those in need rocket by 314%.

Lichfield Foodbank chair David Clarke said:

“The statistics we have provided in the letter are extremely concerning. They point to increasing food insecurity in Lichfield, with the number of children requiring emergency food packages particularly upsetting.

“Of course these are just numbers, but we see the people, young and old, behind the numbers each week at our distribution centres.

“We know that they have relied on the uplift in Universal Credit to keep their heads above water, and that many more will be forced to rely on foodbanks to put food on the table if the cut goes ahead.

“At a time when working tax credits have been cut, the furlough scheme is ending, energy prices are increasing in addition to the increase in National Insurance contributions, many people in our community simply will not have enough money for food, heating and clothing.

“We’re asking Mr Fabricant to think of those in need and to oppose the planned cuts.”

David Clarke, Lichfield Foodbank

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  1. He did not even partake in the vote to stop the cuts, I bet he didn’t even attend, can we get rid of him and vote for some one who will fight for the local people

  2. That loss of £20 a week will hit some of these claimants really hard and I bet that this heartless government haven’t considered how they are going to afford their cigarettes, neck tattoos , scratch cards and energy drinks.

  3. Therese Coffey is one of the very few Conservatives I would be more be more ashamed to have as my local MP than Fabricant.

    She was interviewed on Newsnight a few months ago about a destitute woman who starved to death in the UK with her baby by her side (the woman’s son survived, thankfully) and she flatly refused to express any human sympathy or compassion for the deceased, despite the interviewer repeatedly asking her, basically, if she could behave like a human being. It was astonishing and disgusting: Coffey is a vile person.

  4. Appalling that he couldn’t even be bothered to vote. It’s not much to ask from an MP is it? He knows he has a safe seat, and is lazy because of it. We need a change.

  5. What does Fabricant actually do for the people of Lichfield and District? He seems to take walks & photographs & shop at his favourite supermarket but where is he when his constituents desperately need their MP to help them with their health, housing & employment problems? He doesn’t even bother to vote to support the poorest & most vulnerable. He is clearly taking voters for granted. This looks arrogant to me.

  6. Mr Fabricant is a millionaire with a flat in Westminster and a 32 acre country estate in Wales (a ‘holiday home’ he owns alongside a friend). I wonder if he understands what it means not to be able to afford the essentials in life.

    Check out his recent tweets if you want to see where his real interests lie. Speaking up for the poorer residents of his constituency doesn’t appear to be one of them.

  7. This uplift was only temporary you all knew that last year when they brought it in it should’ve ended in march earlier this year the extended it they didn’t have to but they did so you got more than what they originally said

  8. Mr Fabricant has no interest in people who are struggling financially.
    His party is now stepping on the toes of many people who have given him his safe seat.
    Watch and wait.

  9. David naylor – Income tax was a temporary measure, introduced to finance the Napoleonic Wars.
    Not sure what your point is.

  10. We have always voted Conservative, BUT never again! I HOPE YOU ARE READING THESE COMMENTS MR FABRICANT….My husband and I are pensioners (not rich ones either) we live in a very modest two bedroom semi) I am ashamed of our MP and our Prime Minister. Since March 2020 each week we put food into the food banks in the supermarket’s we use and hope that people who deserve and need it, get it.

  11. After you have paid direct tax, national insurance, V A T, fuel tax, rates, alcohol tax, road tax, televisions licence, parking fees and sundry others I have probably missed,(death duties, car licence, mot, passports etc) it is a wonder there is anything left for life’s essentials. It seems government claws back much of what we earn. Have a competition amongst your family and friends to see who can think of all these stealth taxes. Ops! Stamp duty (nearly missed that one.

  12. Well said David Naylor, it was well known that the increase was a temporary measure and had been extended. I know a lot of the loony left fraternity that seem to dominate every comments forum will criticise the government/ Mr Fabricant at every opportunity but we are more generous with handouts than many other governments. Perhaps that’s why the UK is the go to destination for many many migrants.

  13. I have come to expect nothing more from the Tories. They are a disgrace, and what I cannot understand is why people keep voting for them. I can only assume it is because of the lack of an effective alternative in our sham of a democracy. Labour have lost their way (who do they actually represent these days?). Lib Dems are Tories by another name. MPs represent their parties, not their electorate.

  14. Well said, ProfessorPineapple. Helpful, as always, to have someone provide some evidence to back up their comments. Having been an immigrant myself, and with many others in my family who have at various times lived abroad, I find it disappointing to see the same old bigotry being trotted out to whip up anti-immigrant feeling. I certainly never went abroad to claim benefits – even though the welfare systems in Norway and Sweden were considerably more generous than in the UK. Neither did my sister-in-law, who came to this country to work in social care and went on to work as a district nurse until her recent death.

    With an ageing population, this country needs more people of working age with the skills and the motivation to work in a number of sectors. Immigration has a vital role to play, boosting our workforce and contributing to our economy.

    This country has had immigration throughout history, and it has helped shape who we are. We would be a poorer place without it. Go back a few generations, and we are all the descendants of immigrants one way or another. Without immigration, most of us wouldn’t exist!

  15. As usual Dr pineapplehead digs out some useless statistics from planet woke to back up more equally useless comments that have nothing to do with the actual headline article.

  16. @Bozza. Prof Pineapple’s later statistics were in response to a comment from Mr Scholl about our handouts being so generous that we were popular with migrants. Presumably you also think Mr Scholl’s comments were useless and irrelevant.

    Meanwhile, I’m interested that you think the evidence provided by Prof Pineapple is useless. Are the government and Age UK websites cited part of this “woke” conspiracy? Have you any evidence of your own? This is usually the sort of argument I expect to have with flat earthers.

  17. @clare sholl : we don’t need any more immigrants. we need to train the unemployed to fill those positions. I am not going to say that will be easy but it needs to be done.

  18. With energy & food prices up – to stop this £20 is bizarre, even “cruel” in the circumstances. It is such a tiny part of government total spending

  19. @belleview: I have nothing against training Brits to fill job vacancies in the UK. I would love to see more British people get the opportunity to train to work in our NHS, for example. But I’m not quite sure how much training the unemployed need in order to perform unskilled work on UK farms. It would seem there are some jobs that British people simply don’t want to do. I’ve done jobs abroad myself which none of the locals wanted (farm work, au pair work, washing up in a bar until three in the morning). But I was learning the language, so I was prepared to put up with rubbish jobs. The same applies to many foreigners working here.

    In addition, many immigrants actually come here to study at British universities, and they pay through the nose for the privilege. Both the institutions themselves and the towns and cities that are home to them would sorely miss the money this group of immigrants brings into the UK. Considering the contribution they make, the least we can do is to value them and make them feel welcome.

  20. It is worth remembering. A lot of the people who will be hurt by this cut. Are the same key workers, a few months ago, were being hailed as heroes.

  21. Asellus aquaticus, statistics can be bent , manipulated , stretched and used dishonestly by the right or by the left. Some people want to take a step out their ivory towers and come into the real world. What normal people living normal lives and being involved in normal employment see on a regular basis however is somewhere nearer to the fact.

  22. Mr Fabricant and his cronies bear the responsibility for the destitution of the country. In the lockdowns the Billionaires added an indecent amount to their wealth. Tory cronies and families were handed millions, and all at the expense of the poorest in society. Endless furlough will be a burden on our grandchildren and beyond while destroying the economy for no good reason. Fabricant has been entirely supportive of these crimes and happy to see the wholesale destruction of his constituency. Shame on him!

  23. Big daddy J – The numbers, not statistics, are from the government’s own website. The manipulation and dishonesty lie in the words from the government. The words they speak are disproved by their own numbers.
    Again, why are UK pensions the lowest of any developed country?
    To paraphrase Margot Asquith, “He couldn’t see a stick without getting hold of the wrong end of it.”

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