A vote on a Labour motion to continue financial support to people who are claiming Universal Credit was supported by Matthew.
At the beginning of the lockdown in 2020, the Government introduced a temporary £20 weekly increase for people receiving Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits. This was additional help for Matthew's constituents who were budgeting in a time of an extreme and peculiar economy. This assistance is expected to end in April but even if the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted by then it is unlikely that the economy and employment market will immediately revert back to pre-pandemic levels, leaving possibly more than 6 million people financially vulnerable - including 200,000 children.
Speaking after the vote, Matthew said: “I spent the weekend taking soundings on whether I should abstain on the Labour motion and I concluded that the loudest message the Government would hear would be if I voted Aye.
"It is not my natural instinct to increase welfare benefits but almost 40% of people who receive Universal Credit in the Hendon constituency are in work yet still struggling to manage because of the COVID restrictions.
"Therefore, I believe I have sent a message to the Government that this issue must be addressed, ideally in the next Budget. This is a unique situation my constituents find themselves in and we must all act equally uniquely.”