ROLLOUT OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT

I am concerned about the impact of the rollout of Universal Credit in my constituency, which risks causing extreme hardship for many of my constituents.

I've signed a letter in the Guardian along with 30 other MPs whose constituents will be affected by the November and December rollout of Universal Credit, and we are calling for the rollout of Universal Credit to be delayed until some time in 2018.

Other constituencies where Universal Credit has been rolled out have seen constituents waiting seven weeks for their welfare payments. This risks leaving many people with their rent in arrears, in personal debt and unable to pay basic utility bills. The rollout clearly risks forcing serious hardship on many people on low incomes.

I am also deeply concerned about the removal of the Severe Disability Premium. The removal of the premium would risk leaving many welfare recipients unable to pay for basics such as heating and food and fails to acknowledge the needs of those with severe disabilities.

I can assure you that I will continue to campaign for the proposed rollouts to be delayed and in favour of retaining the Severe Disability Premium.

On 19th October 2017 I voted to pause the roll-out of Universal Credit given the extremely lengthy waiting period many recipients have experienced and the risk that large numbers of constituents could find themselves waiting up to ten weeks to receive their Universal Credit. Labour won this vote and we are awaiting action from the government in order to address the problems with Universal Credit.

Here is a copy of the letter I wrote to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, raising my constituents' concerns about cuts to free school meals to children on Universal Credit.