You can read 9 more articles this month
ESTHER McVEY faced cries of “shame” from Labour MPs today who called for her wages to be docked for repeatedly misleading MPs over universal credit.
The Work and Pensions Secretary was accused by her Labour counterpart Margaret Greenwood of being “shockingly complacent” after she apologised last week for “inadvertently misleading” the Commons over a report on universal credit by the National Audit Office (NAO).
Labour sought to “sanction” her handling of universal credit, which has included Auditor General Sir Amyas Morse having to correct Ms McVey’s statements in public.
He rebuked her in an open letter for having falsely claimed that his report called for the roll-out of the scheme to be sped up — rather than stopped to fix the problems have forced 40 per cent of benefit claimants into financial hardship.
Ms Greenwood opened an opposition day debate by telling MPs: “She undermined the report rather than addressing the extremely serious issues it raised.
“Her approach was shockingly complacent — as if oblivious to the hardship so many people are suffering.
“The Secretary of State repeatedly claims her department is testing and learning, but this testing and learning is using people as guinea pigs — this is unacceptable. Where is the dignity?”
She called on Ms McVey to halt universal credit and put forward a “credible plan to fix its many failings before many more people suffer.”
She added that Ms McVey had only apologised after receiving the open letter, and only for one of her three mistakes.
Ms McVey shamelessly defended the two others — claiming that the NAO had not accounted for more recent changes and that her department just had a “different interpretation” than the NAO.
Labour’s motion calls on the government to reduce her ministerial salary to zero for four weeks.
Labour MP Catherine West later raised the case of a constituent who was “sleeping in a tent in a bin chamber” as he was one of the 20 per cent of claimants who did not have internet access to make an application for universal credit.
Ms McVey, while receiving jeers and shouts of “rubbish” and “nonsense” from Labour backbenchers, said: “What we do with people who’ve fallen on hard times, is to reach out to them and support them and if that person is not getting the support I would ask her — work with me.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.