Image Credit: ITV News
During the September edition of The Granada Debate, Sir Mark was interviewed by political correspondent Lise Mcnally to discuss the £20 cut to Universal credit and the resettlement of Afghan refugees.
An top up payment of £20 per week was introduced in April 2020, to help deal with the economic effects of COVID and is now due to scrapped on 6 October 2021.
This will have a devastating effect on the income of many families and single people and drive them further into poverty. It is a choice between heating or eating this coming winter, with the added insult of a NI increase on top, with many families having to use food banks or loan sharks in order to survive.
Sir Mark was joined by MP for Blackpool South, Scott Benton and argued that fifty percent of Preston claimants are already in work, who are being paid insufficiently; that these issues existed before the pandemic and that this cut is totally inhumane.
On the topic of Afghanistan, Sir Mark said that the numbers of refugees being taken by the UK are pitiful compared to other countries with higher populations and with worse economic conditions. He feels that the Government should disperse the arrivals fairly between the north and south instead of Councils having to volunteer their help.
Sir Mark's office have been receiving cases from constituents asking for help for their loved ones . He said: 'the stories are absolutely heart breaking, people are being taken out in the street and shot, door to door executions, people are having to escape across the border into Pakistani with no money, virtually no clothes and are now starving.'
He went on to say that there are still refugees who arrived here in the first wave in the early 2000's at the start of the war in Afghanistan who have not been settled because of the incompetence of the Home Office. We promised to protect people from the Taliban, especially as the British Government and have a duty to help them now.