Charities Mind, Gingerbread and the Trussell Trust have set the record straight after Esther McVey claimed in the Commons that they had recognised and welcomed changes to Universal Credit – despite the three organisations having taken a public stance against the system.
McVey told the Commons that the three charities have noted that the DWP is “now listening to what claimants are saying, what charities are saying, what MPs are saying” regarding reforms to the Universal Credit system. But the charities have individually stated that these reforms do not go far enough to protect people within the system.
Each of the charities took to Twitter to challenge McVey’s claims, with Gingerbread noting that her statement misconstrued the charity’s stance on Universal Credit. “We want to be clear,” they said on Twitter, “we support changes to the system that benefit single parents, but this statement does not paint the full picture. We are not complacent and are clear these changes do not do enough to make the system work for single parents.”
Mind agreed with the stance taken by Gingerbread, saying on Twitter: “We remain clear that new Universal Credit regulations don’t go far enough. We won’t stop campaigning until we get a benefits system that really works for people with mental health problems.
“We need MPs to vote against these regulations which create a real risk for people with mental health problems.”
The Trussel Trust added that they had recently released figures showing a 13% increase in foodbank usage during the period of April to September 2018 compared to the same period last year, noted that they have been monitoring the roll out of Universal Credit over the last two years, and saw an increase in people using foodbanks in areas where the system has been rolled out, with 52% of people in those areas using foodbanks compared to 13% in areas still using the old system.