Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has given a cautious welcome to confirmation that the next stage of the controversial Universal Credit rollout is to be delayed.
The House of Commons was due to vote on proposals to move a further three million claimants onto the Universal Credit by summer 2019, but this will now be postponed, with the Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd seeking approval to move just 10,000 onto the new system.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty Philip Alston recently opened a scathing attack on Universal Credit warning that the system was “mean spirited and often callous”.
Angela has consistently called on the UK Government to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit.
Commenting, Angela said: “Any pause to the botched roll-out of Universal Credit is welcome, but it shouldn’t have taken this long for the Tories to listen to the huge number of anti-poverty charities who have condemned the system.
“The roll-out of Universal Credit to areas across Scotland has already seen more people pushed into poverty, debt and destitution – forcing families to rely on food banks and emergency aid just to get by.
“Now that the penny appears to have finally dropped, the Tories must now take this opportunity to overhaul the system and fix the problems that have caused so much misery across the country.
“The United Nations report by Philip Alston confirmed that poverty is this Tory government’s political choice – the Secretary of State’s head-in-the-sand approach to this criticism is itself a shocking indictment of this government’s attitude.
“Any movement to mitigate the worst of the problems that the botched rollout of Universal Credit has caused is welcome, but fundamental reform is urgently needed for those who have already been affected.”