Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed the DWP benefit will be ditched under Labour – starting with £3billion in emergency reforms to scrap the benefit cap, two-child limit, benefit sanctions and five-week wait
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Party Leader, will today announce that Labour (Saturday) will scrap Universal Credit, calling the flagship Tory welfare reform “inhumane” and an “unmitigated disaster”.
Speaking at a rally in Chingford and Woodford Green, the seat currently held by Iain Duncan Smith MP – the architect of Universal Credit – the Labour Leader will set out Labour’s plans to replace Universal Credit with a social security system that focuses on “alleviating and ending poverty, not driving people into it”.
In government, Labour will immediately end the worst aspects of Universal Credit, including:
- Ending the benefit cap and the two child limit, which alone will stop up to 300,000 children being pushed into poverty;Immediately suspending the punitive sanctions regime, which has been ineffective at supporting people back to work and has instead pushed people into poverty and reliance on foodbanks;
- Ending Universal Credit’s “digital only” requirement, which excludes people who cannot access the internet or are not computer literate, and recruiting 5000 additional advisors to deliver this change;
- Switching to split payments and fortnightly payments, including an automatic interim payment to end the five week wait.
- As well as scrapping Universal Credit, Labour will replace the Department for Work and Pensions with a Department for Social Security, marking a radical shift from a system that “punishes and polices” people to one where social security will support people in finding work and treat them with “dignity and respect”.
Criticising Universal Credit, Jeremy Corbyn is expected to say:
“Universal Credit has been an unmitigated disaster. As well as being behind schedule and over budget it is inhumane and cruel, driving people into poverty and hardship.
“Social security is supposed to give people dignity and respect, not punish and police them, make them wait five weeks for the first payment or fill out a four-page form to prove their child was born as a result of rape.
“The Universal Credit system sums up the priorities of the Conservatives – who think they’re born to rule. A government of the wealthy cutting taxes for the super-rich while forcing people to rely on foodbanks to survive.
“The Tories told us that Universal Credit would make work pay, but we have seen the opposite. More and more people who are falling into poverty have jobs, and more and more children who are growing up in poverty are living in working families.”
Announcing that a Labour government will scrap Universal Credit, Jeremy Corbyn is expected to say:
“It’s time to end this cruelty. So today I can tell you that Labour will scrap Universal Credit. And we will replace the Department for Work and Pensions with a Department for Social Security – this will provide real security.
“When a Labour government takes office we will introduce an emergency package of reforms to end the worst aspects of Universal Credit.
“And we will introduce a new system that will be based on the principles of dignity and respect and it will alleviate and end poverty, not drive people into it.
“We will lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty by scrapping the two child limit and benefit cap. The pernicious five week wait which causes so much misery and suffering will go. We will suspend the Tories’ pernicious sanctions regime, introduce fortnightly payments, make payments directly to landlords and protect women by making split payments by default, and never again will any woman have to fill in a four page form to prove her child was born as a result of rape.”
Margaret Greenwood MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:
“Universal Credit was meant to lift people out of poverty, simplify the social security system and smooth the transition into work.
“Instead it is failing those in need, pushing many into debt and rent arrears and forcing them to rely on food banks to survive.
“The two-child limit and the benefit cap are driving up child poverty, and the callous sanctions regime is punishing people instead of supporting them.
“Labour will scrap Universal Credit, put an end to the benefit cap and create a social security system that, just like our NHS, treats people with dignity and respect and is there for any one of us in our time of need.”