PRESSURE MOUNTS OVER BOTCHED ROLL-OUT OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT
The SNP has said that the Tory Government should be “deeply ashamed” of the failure of their flagship welfare policy, after Amber Rudd was forced to admit that Universal Credit is forcing people to use food banks in order to survive.
The link between Universal Credit and soaring food bank use has long been disputed by senior Tories at Westminster and Holyrood – but the Work and Pensions Secretary has finally admitted that the policy, which has been plagued with delays, has led to widespread poverty.
Amber Rudd today admitted that: “It is absolutely clear that there were challenges with the initial rollout of universal credit –and the main issue that led to an increase in food bank use could have been the fact that people had difficulty accessing their money early enough.”
Britain’s biggest foodbank charity recently called for urgent changes to Universal Credit, and warned that foodbank use in Scotland has risen by 15% in the five months to September, due to the in-built minimum wait of five weeks for a first payment.
Shona Robison MSP:
“This admission is long overdue.
“The Tories ‘flagship’ welfare policy simply isn’t working, and it’s now abundantly clear that the welfare cuts inflicted by the Tories on people across Scotland are directly forcing vulnerable people into poverty.
“Experts and front-line services have been warning that that people are being left with nothing to live on for years – only this uncaring Tory government could deny that for so long. They should be deeply ashamed of themselves.
“It is a disgrace that this botched Tory policy is leaving millions of families poorer and worse off - cutting incomes, forcing claimants to go without money and driving families to food banks in order to survive.”
“The SNP has long made the case for a halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit but those pleas fell on deaf ears. It’s time they recognised that the rollout of Universal Credit has been a failure, the human price has been too high and things must change.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Universal credit to blame for soaring food bank use, government admits after years of denial