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UNIVERSAL CREDIT (UC) has “teething problems” but is a “tremendous force for good,” Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd claimed today.
The former home secretary, who was appointed to her new role last week after the resignation of Esther McVey, said she wants to make changes to delayed payments.
Ms Rudd also dismissed a report by United Nations envoy Philip Alston, which found that the government has inflicted “great misery” with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies, as being “too political.”
Labour backbencher Chris Williamson called Ms Rudd’s comments “unbelievable” and said the government’s welfare reform is a “pernicious system that should be scrapped forthwith.”
Shadow work and pension secretary Margaret Greenwood said: “Amber Rudd’s claim that UC is a force for good is yet more evidence that the government is in denial about the impact it is having.
“It was meant to lift people out of poverty. Instead it is leaving many in debt and rent arrears. Labour will stop the roll-out of UC.”
Ms Rudd’s own constituency, Hastings and Rye, has seen an 80 per cent rise in the use of food banks in the 12 months since the service was rolled out there, according to the National Audit Office.
Linda Burnip, of Disabled People Against Cuts, said Ms Rudd seems to be living in a “completely different” world to people receiving UC.
She told the Star: “Disability premiums that existed in Employment and Support Allowance for those in support groups don’t exist under UC, which means that disabled people are going to be £2,500 worse off each year.”
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