OLDHAM Council condemned the Government's planned £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit in a meeting on Wednesday.

The cut, due to happen next month, works out at £1,400 a year for some of Oldham's lowest income families.

And in a motion put to the meeting, deputy leader Cllr Abdul Jabbar asked councillors to condemn the cut, and to instead show support to the #KeepTheLifeline campaign.

This is a campaign set up by poverty charity The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, appealing to the Government to retain or at least extend the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit, which was brought in towards the start of the pandemic.

Cllr Jabbar said: "The pandemic is still with us, and the hardship families are experiencing isn't disappearing.

READ MORE: Queen's portrait motion defeated at Oldham Council meeting.

"These people aren't scrounging, as the right would like to characterise them.

"They're hard-working people who have battled through a pandemic and who deserve our support to get back on their feet.

"Oldham Council is with those families. We're doing everything we can to support them and will continue to do so while the Government insists on making their life harder.

Labour's Cllr Hannah Roberts spoke in support of the motion, as did Cllr Howard Sykes, the leader of the Lib Dem Group.

Finally, council leader Cllr Arooj Shah made a strong condemnation of her own, saying mistakes that were forgivable at the start of the pandemic were no longer forgivable.

READ MORE: Oldham Covid memorial confirmed by council's deputy leader.

She said: "We're now in a different place, and we shouldn't be so charitable about the Government's failings."

"Many of the people who got us through the pandemic – including our heroic carers – will be in receipt of Universal Credit.

"The Prime Minister and his allies present an image of a cuddly clown, who says it how it is and who is on the side of normal people.

"But policies like this, policies that deliberately hurt those that most need our support, show us exactly who they really are."

Cllr Jabbar's motion was then passed after a vote.