Labour announces proposals to scrap Universal Credit
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01 Oct 2019
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced that a Labour government would scrap
Universal Credit and replace it with a social security system that focuses on
“alleviating and ending poverty, not driving people into it”.
move comes after a year-long review into the social security system which was
led by Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood in her capacity as co-convenor of
Labour’s Work, Pensions and Equality Policy Commission.
Greenwood, who is also Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has
repeatedly held the government to account in Parliament on the roll-out of
Universal Credit and has long drawn attention to the link between the system
and increased food bank usage and the rise in poverty levels across the UK.
government, Labour will immediately end the worst aspects of Universal Credit;
to do this it would:
Reduce the five-week wait for first payment
End the benefit cap
Scrap the two-child limit
Suspend sanctions and the claimant agreement
End the “digital only” approach and recruit 5,000 new social security advisers
would also make split payments and payments direct to landlords the default.
latest figures from the House of Commons Library show that in Wirral West, in
August 2019, there were 1,942 Universal Credit claimants, while data from Wirral
Foodbank shows that, in 2018, 983 foodbank vouchers were issued in Wirral West
wards – an increase of 381 compared to the previous year.
Greenwood MP said:
Credit was meant to lift people out of poverty, simplify the social security
system and smooth the transition into work.
it is failing those in need, pushing many into debt and rent arrears and
forcing them to rely on food banks to survive.
two-child limit and the benefit cap are driving up child poverty, and the
sanctions regime is punishing people instead of supporting them.
will scrap Universal Credit, put an end to the benefit cap and create a social
security system that, just like our NHS, treats people with dignity and respect
and is there for any one of us in our time of need.”
leader Jeremy Corbyn said:
Credit has been an unmitigated disaster. As well as being behind schedule and
over budget, it is inhumane and cruel, driving people into poverty and
Tories told us that Universal Credit would make work pay, but we have seen the
opposite. More and more people who are falling into poverty have jobs, and more
and more children who are growing up in poverty are living in working families.
will introduce a new system based on the principles of dignity and respect and
it will alleviate and end poverty, not drive people into it.”