Universal Credit must be scrapped - David Drew MP's call to Amber Rudd

Universal Credit must be scrapped - David Drew MP's call to Amber Rudd

David Drew MP and Labour MPs have joined forces to call on Amber Rudd MP to scrap Universal Credit.

They’ve written to Ms Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, ahead of a day of action planned for Saturday 1 December to highlight the hardship Universal Credit has caused across their constituencies.

Their letter states:

“People in receipt of Universal Credit report going hungry, being left unable to afford clothes, toiletries or heating, and struggling to pay rent.

They are also calling for a review of the next phase of the ‘roll out’, called ‘managed migration’.

Universal Credit has been introduced faster in Stroud than anywhere else in Gloucestershire and Stroud Labour Party is planning a day of action for Saturday.

David Drew’s caseworkers will be joining volunteers at a stall on King Street, Stroud from 11am to 1pm, where people can find out more about the impact of Universal Credit, sign a petition organised by Unite the union, read briefings from charities and the report from the United Nations on poverty in the UK which looked at the impact of Universal Credit.

“We are seeing the impact earlier than the rest of the county. I am deeply concerned that we will see more people facing hardship and we’re already seeing evidence of the real heartbreak it is causing from the many, many calls to my office,” said Mr Drew, Labour MP for Stroud.

This includes: 

  • an elderly cancer sufferer forced to travel to Stroud library to make repeated updates to his claim

  • A single mum of two young children forced to rely on parents and grandparents after leaving an abusive relationship

  • families who have moved onto UC to discover they have gone from receiving £200 a month to now receiving £4 a month. These are people in work with children they are trying their best to support.

  • Families forced into rent arrears, debt or to use foodbanks because of the six week delay in payment

The roll out of UC is now 21% complete in Stroud, with 1,350 households now claiming UC in Stroud constituency. Around half of those receiving Universal Credit are in work.

A further 5,220 Stroud households are due to be transferred to UC as the ‘roll-out’ progresses. In Gloucester, roll out is currently to 12% of claimants.

“We’re receiving several calls a day from people who are in desperate circumstances following the introduction of Universal Credit,” said David Drew MP.

“Some of the calls to my caseworkers are truly heart-breaking. This a shameful way to treat people. Universal Credit is only administered online, which is places real hardship on many vulnerable people.”

 

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