The £20 per week universal credit uplift should be restored as part of an urgent £30 billion UK Government emergency Budget to tackle the cost of living crisis, Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has said.
The party’s Finance spokesperson was speaking as Alliance launched progressive proposals aimed at tackling the ongoing crisis. The party is also calling for the immediate restoration of the Executive in order to access Barnett Consequentials to help those in need.
As well as the benefits uplift, the Combatting the Crisis document proposes doubling the £400 energy support payments to £800 per household and new support for businesses struggling with energy bills. Locally, the party advocates another roll-out of £200 in energy payments for those most in need, a £20 weekly payment per child for eligible families and the delivery of a Green New Deal to address energy efficiency and overcome social inequalities.
New spending should be funded in part by an increased windfall tax, a special wealth tax, and further borrowing.
Mr Muir said there was a moral duty on the UK Government and a restored Executive to exhaust every available resource to protect citizens during the crisis.
“The majority of people across Northern Ireland are facing into this crisis, with it also presenting a grave threat to businesses and the wider economy,” he said.
“There is a moral duty on the UK Government and a restored Executive to exhaust every available resource to protect them. There is an urgent need for an emergency Budget from the UK Government, which would allow for at least £30 billion of increased support, as outlined in this document.
“In the aftermath of the pandemic, we are in the midst of another global emergency. These targeted measures from Alliance would be a significant and progressive response to these unprecedented times.”