Mealy-mouthed: David Gauke.

Gauke’s comments about the advance loan being made available to Universal Credit claimants are mealy-mouthed nonsense, of course.

All he is doing is spreading out claimants’ money worries across a series of months, rather than concentrating them at the start of the claim. The net effect will be the same because people are still being deprived of vital funds, without which they won’t be able to make ends meet.

Mr Gauke knows this, of course. He doesn’t care.

The government has been warned that continuing with its rollout of the new Universal Credit benefits system risks plunging claimants into hunger, destitution or even homelessness over Christmas.

The Work and Pensions Secretary, David Gauke faced questions in the Commons over the scheme that has proved intensely controversial, and received angry interventions from his own side.

Mr Gauke told the Commons that the wider rollout was proceeding “gradually and sensibly”.

Expansion over the coming months, where Universal Credit will be introduced to 50 new Jobcentres every month, will increase the proportion of people claiming the benefit from 8% to 10% of those who will eventually claim it, he added.

“Nobody who needs support should have to wait six weeks before they receive any support, and what we’re doing is making clear that people can receive an advance of their first month’s payment.

“That is then deducted over the next six monthly periods, and that is helping people deal with the cashflow issues in that first month.”

Source: Government warned Universal Credit could render claimants ‘homeless by Christmas’


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