Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert voted against a 1% cap on benefits yesterday (Tuesday, January 8) because he believes it won’t offer enough protection to society’s most vulnerable.
Julian registered his protest against the move during the Second Reading of the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill in the House of Commons. He said:
“One per cent is below both the level of inflation and the rate at which wages are going up in the economy. It is simply not enough for people who deserve support to be able to keep up with the cost of living. I think the government made the right decision last year to increase support by 5.2 per cent.
“We must remember that these benefits go to people who work as well as people who do not work. Some of it goes to help people who are working in poorly paid jobs to make ends meet, and some goes to help those who are not able to find employment. They need targeted help to find a job, not what is effectively a punishment.
“People who are in low-paid jobs will be benefiting from our increase in the income tax threshold – the tax paid by someone on the minimum wage has been halved, and will go down further; that is right and fair.
“I am incredibly proud that we managed to give a 5.2% increase last year, especially in pensions. This offered real help to those in the greatest need. But I cannot support a benefits cap which would give families little or no chance of keeping pace with the rising cost of living.
“To build a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that everyone can get on in life, we have to provide support for the most vulnerable.”