Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has joined Labour MPs as the party holds a debate in the House of Commons calling on the Government to pause the roll-out of Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is being introduced across the UK in stages. It replaces 6 means-tested benefits, including Tax Credits, Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefit. By 2022, 7 million families will receive Universal Credit. Over half of those will be in work.
Universal Credit began rolling-out in Denton & Reddish in November 2014 with the expected date for transition to the full Universal Credit service in March 2018. Nationally 7% of the roll-out is complete, and Citizens Advice has already helped people with 80,000 Universal Credit issues. Analysis suggests 13,500 families in the constituency will be receiving Universal Credit by 2022.
So far the Government has taken a gradual ‘test and learn’ approach to the roll-out of Universal Credit. Labour are calling on the Government to pause Universal Credit Full Service roll out, and work with us to deliver a more effective system, one which delivers on the original ambition of simplifying social security and making sure work always pays.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“The Government need to do the decent thing and delay the expansion until Universal Credit systems are working properly. If he doesn’t, then hundreds of thousands more families each month will have to suffer weeks with no money, causing them long-term financial problems.
“Labour supports the original principles of Universal Credit, but design issues together with the Government cuts and poor implementation have undermined these which is why we need a pause now.”