A NEWPORT MP has called for UK Government support schemes to be extended during the winter lockdown to include people who have been excluded from previous support.

Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, called for plans to cut universal credit to be scrapped, and

"I urge Ministers to do more to help the three million people in the UK who have been excluded from UK Government support schemes," she said. "Many will soon be a year without support, including constituents of mine such as the woman whose employer chose not to take part in the furlough scheme, the newly self-employed beautician and the company director of the small business who is paid via dividends.


"There was some speculation last week that there may be some movement on this, but our constituents need help as soon as possible, including new starters, those who have been on parental leave and others.

"We must see more action for those who rely on the social security system.

"We are in the worst recession for 300 years, and family incomes are under huge strain. Why are the Government looking to cut universal credit by £1,000 for six million families?

"In Newport East, 8,812 families will take a hit if the cut goes ahead in April.

"Ministers must rule that out now, end the five-week wait, provide a £20 uplift to legacy benefits and change advances for loans. Action is needed quickly."

Ms Morden also stressed the devolved nations must not become an afterthought when funding the fight against the pandemic.

"So often, the pattern has been that the Welsh Government have made the difficult decisions first, only to see others follow later, but I remind Ministers that the Treasury is the Treasury for the whole UK, not just England," she said.

"In autumn, when Wales went into a firebreak first, the Tory Government would not extend the job retention scheme, yet when England went into its second lockdown the Treasury U-turned and ensured that support was in place.

"The Welsh Government took the difficult but justified decision to move Wales to level four in December because of the new strain - there was some opposition from the Government Benches to that - but it was not until England locked down last week that additional funding was mentioned.

"Then it emerged that the money announced for Wales was not new money at all, but money already announced last year. We have seen that pattern repeated throughout the pandemic."