MARCUS Rashford says axing the Universal Credit uplift will see families face an eat or heat choice this winter — the day after he was awarded a honorary doctorate.
The England striker, who forced a U-turn on free school meal provision during the pandemic, said: “These are decisions you don’t want people to go through.”
It came after the Man Utd star, 23, became the youngest person to receive a honorary degree from the University of Manchester.
The footballer turned poverty campaigner explained: “The cost of living has definitely increased.
“You know, people in households are having to decide – it reminds me of my situation when I was younger, to be fair – you’ve got to decide between are you going to eat or are you going to be warm in the house?
“And these are decisions that you don’t want people to go through, never mind children, and, you know, there’s other stuff – there’s the price of fuel and electricity.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, meanwhile, said the £20-a-week UC uplift had been “for a limited period for coronavirus”.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he said: “The first thing I want to say is, through this coronavirus, the Government has put in all manner of different furlough schemes and the loans and grants, and one of those was a temporary uplift in Universal Credit to help get people through the coronavirus.
“Now we’re through the vast majority of it and people are going back to work – in fact, job vacancies are at an all-time high – we want to help people back into the jobs. The Chancellor actually has announced a £500 million support package for people, so everything isn’t dropping away.
“And there’s other support as well available – things like the Warm Homes Discount and winter fuel allowances and many other packages… local housing allowances – I won’t go through them all, there to support people, some of which – like the uplift in local housing allowance – again wasn’t available before coronavirus.
“So the Government’s really been trying to do everything it can to help people, both during coronavirus and now through the transition out of it.”