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Labour MPs criticise dishonest universal credit advertising

LABOUR MP Stephanie Peacock said today that “the government no longer leads but misleads,” as the controversial Universal Credit (UC) benefits system faced criticism for dishonest advertising.

A graphic from the Understanding Universal Credit website has come under scrutiny for claiming that the divisive new benefits program “mirrors the world of work”.

The image also says that UC is “paid monthly, like most jobs” and is “paid to you (including housing support) like wages”.

However, the system has been widely criticised for allowing claimants to wait five weeks for their first payment to arrive.

These further accusations come as the government voted down a Labour proposal to allow the public to see the government’s own report into the potential damage Universal Credit may create.

Work and Pensions committee chair Frank Field has written to universal credit programme director Neil Couling requesting an explanation of the advertisement, asking him how advertising such as this is “compatible” with the Department of Work and Pensions declared commitment to transparency.

Mr Field said: “These so-called ‘facts’ about universal credit are nothing of the kind.”

Liverpool Labour MP Dan Carden told the Star: “I am amazed at the extent to which the Tories are willing to deceive people about the incoming disaster that is universal credit.

“The government needs to stop creeping around the facts and confront the problems they have created head on. They should help rebuild trust in the system by calling an immediate halt to the roll-out of this hurtful scheme.”

Labour MP Stephanie Peacock, who has been a longstanding opponent of UC, also added: “Once again the Tories are fiddling the figures because they can’t face the facts.

“The government no longer leads the country, it misleads the country.

“Ordinary working families and the most vulnerable are paying the price for the government’s incompetence, with hundreds of thousands of the poorest households in Britain out of pocket.

“Yet even now ministers are apparently determined to plough on regardless.

“The Prime Minister promised a country that works for everyone, but she leads a government that rewards the rich and punishes the poor.”

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