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Amber Rudd urged to make radical changes to improve benefit system

UNION leaders and charities urged Amber Rudd to make quicker and more radical reforms to benefits after she announced some slight changes to the hated universal credit system today.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said a plan to move three million people on to the single-payment benefit scheme would be delayed until 2020.

She also said a controversial plan to apply a two-child benefit cap retrospectively to new claimants from February would be axed.

Ms Rudd also signalled that the long-standing benefit freeze introduced by former chancellor George Osborne in 2016 should come to an end next year, but admitted she had yet to discuss extra funding with Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said that action is needed now to end the benefit freeze to avoid homelessness, not in 2020.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis branded the two-child cap “morally wrong,” adding: “Now at least families who had a third child before April 2017 won’t be hit, but there are still many others with younger children who will be.”

Paddy Lillis, general secretary of shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw, called for a complete overhaul of a system that “doesn’t work in the real world and everyone knows it is broken.”

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