The Tories have voted town a push by Labour ministers to have the government publish their papers on the analysis of the impact of the introduction of Universal Credit, which Labour has described as “a vehicle for cuts,” by a majority of just 20 votes.
The movement from Labour was put through during yesterday’s Opposition Day debate in the Commons, in a motion which was a “humble address” to the Queen, asking her to require ministers comply to a request to bring “any briefing papers or analysis provided to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since January 8 2018 on the impact of the roll-out of Universal Crediton recipients’ and household income and on benefit debts” to light.
But the Tories shot the vote down 299 to 279, prompting MP Margaret Greenwood to accuse the party of having “voted to shamefully cover up the impact that Universal Credit is having on families and people who most need our support.”
She told the Commons: “Universal Credit, the Government’s flagship social security programme, has been beset with flaws in its design and delivery.
“It’s causing immense hardship for many people wherever it is rolled out.
“It is hard to believe now, but UC was designed to lift people out of poverty and smooth the transition into work to ensure that it always pays.
“The reality is that UC is a vehicle for cuts.”
DWP leader Esther McVey insisted however that Universal Credit would not be halted, and the Government will “get it right,” with her fellow Conservative telling MPs that backbenchers are listening to complaints about Universal Credit, saying that “not a single person, including myself, will vote for the motion.” McVey also told the Commons that disabled households would be £110 better off under Universal Credit.
She said: “Around one million disabled households will receive on average around £110 more per month through Universal Credit, and if we were to follow the advice of the party opposite those one million disabled households would be £110 worse off.
“That’s what the opposition are asking for.”Get your copy of UNITE Magazine