Will you help fight to stop the rollout of Universal Credit until it’s fit for purpose?

The Conservative Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke confirmed today that the rollout of Universal Credit will continue despite major problems in the pilot areas which has led 15 Conservative MPs -; as well as many charities and opposition parties -; to urge him to delay. Rollout in Worcestershire is just starting in Redditch.

What are the problems?

Former Government adviser Louise Casey warned that there will be “dire” consequences for families “close to the edge” if Theresa May insists on pressing ahead with Universal Credit. The Labour MP Frank Field, who chairs the work and pensions select committee, said: “David Gauke has today pressed the button that will cause havoc to hundreds of thousands of poorer people’s lives, building up to a meltdown over Christmas”.

Pilot areas have seen increased rent arrears (leading to evictions and homelessness) and foodbank usage. This is caused both because many claimants have to wait more than 6 weeks for the first payment, and because many families will receive significantly reduced benefits -; according to the Resolution Foundation, approx. 2.5 low income working households will be more than £1000 per year worse off when they move onto universal credit.

What can you do?

If you want to help stop the rollout which will create untold misery, consider signing the 38 Degrees petition which more than 120,000 people have already signed, at https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/universal-credit-pause.

You can also write to our local MP Harriet Baldwin to make your views clear and ask her to press the government to stop the rollout -; her post and email details are at http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/harriett-baldwin/4107

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