Calls mount for Universal Credit to be axed as McVey admits people ‘will be worse off’

Serious face: Esther McVey tries to hide the fact that Universal Credit will drive even more people towards poverty and desperation – for no good reason.

Long-term readers of This Site will be pleased to know that Mrs Mike was recently awarded Personal Independence Payments, at a rate that means she receives more than she did on Disability Living Allowance.

Unfortunately, she has now heard that her PIP claim will eventually be mutated into Universal Credit, leading to an awkward conversation in which she asked whether we would have to write the forms all over again, and expressed her fear that she would lose money, in the strongest possible terms.

When you hear statements like the following, from Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey (and pay attention to the Labour Party’s comments too), you can certainly understand Mrs Mike’s concerns:

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Margaret Greenwood has hammered the point home: “Now that Esther McVey has admitted that people will be worse off under Universal Credit, this Conservative Government has no excuse for pushing ahead with [its] shameful programme.

“This exposes Number 10’s claim this week that no family will receive less money under Universal Credit as fiction. The evidence shows that millions of people will be worse off.

“The Government must stop the rollout now, before millions of families are plunged into poverty and put at risk of homelessness.”

Eoin Clarke posted on his Tory Fibs Twitter feed: “Massive moment in British Politics. Today, the government admitted Universal Credit will leave people worse off. Going ahead with it is now nothing other than sadism.”

Journalist George Monbiot Tweeted: “When a politician like Esther McVey says they have made a “tough decision”, they invariably mean tough for other people, not for … them.”

And Labour’s Ian Lavery pointed out that the rollout of Universal Credit makes a mockery of the Tories’ appointment of a minister for suicide prevention, as the number of people attempting to kill themselves will soar. This is a strong assertion that Tory policies push people to suicide, in the face of the DWP’s protestations that they don’t.

He wrote, in a letter to Theresa May: “This rollout will lead to increased suicides and the unnecessary deaths of yet more people who have been forced into desperation by the welfare reforms of the past 8 years.

“I ask you to look at this situation urgently and do all you can to avoid implementing such an ill-thought out and damaging policy simply because of an ideological belief.”

Speaking as he sent the letter he added: “If the government continues to push forward this nonsensical and vicious agenda, they will have blood on their hands.”

Tory ministers already have blood on their hands, of course. John McDonnell has backed calls for Iain Duncan Smith to be prosecuted for failing to act on coroners’ reports, warning that Tory benefit cuts and conditionality were leading to deaths.

And what does “sadistic” Mrs May have to say about all this?

She’s not budging.

Asked by the SNP’s Ian Blackford to reconsider all the government’s social security policies – and in particular to scrap the work capability assessments that have driven half of all female claimants of sickness and disability benefits to attempt suicide – she dug her heels in.

“It is important that we get the assessments right,” she incanted robotically at Prime Minister’s Questions. “It is right that we are encouraging people into the workplace and wanting to ensure that people who are able to be in the workplace are given the support that enables them to do that. That is what we want to do. It is right that we maintain assessments. Of course we look at the impact and quality of those assessments. That is work the Department for Work and Pensions does on a regular basis. It is important that we are undertaking those assessments.”

“It is important.” “It is right.” “It is right.” “It is important.”

Important for whom? Right for whom?

For the super-rich, who have benefited from huge tax cuts while the rest of us have suffered from cuts to services and benefits? Assuredly.

Certainly not for the thousands upon thousands of perfectly decent people that Mrs May, Ms McVey, Mr Duncan Smith and the others have driven to attempted suicide and to death.

But then, Tories don’t count them as people, do they? To a Tory, they – and you, and certainly Mrs Mike – are stock.

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  1. nmac064 October 12, 2018 at 11:50 am - Reply

    So the lies have finally been uncovered and admitted.

  2. jg October 12, 2018 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    not just universal credit needs axing, the whole of the dwp does, followed by strong and not so stable and there bribe a vote buddies, what should replace it, a system of accountability, accountability by law so that when strong and stable and smith and co overstep the mark, they have the option of defending themselves in court and if found guilty hi ho it is of to the cells they go, that option is not given to those that have harmed themselves due to this lots recklessness

  3. Katy October 12, 2018 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Like Mrs Mike, I’m soon to be turned over to UC and, when I went on the goverment site to find out more, I discovered that I’m going to be £2,400 a year worse off, as they dont pay the disability premiums with UC, that they do with ESA – and that sum always supposes that they don’t lie when I have to take yet another medical examination, as they have been for so many people – which will then be my third in as many years – and stop my sickness benefits altogether :(

    I found that, when my husband died in March of this year, that I’ve already lost out in the fact that Widow’s Pension isn’t paid any more, and I’ll not be awarded my husband’s share of his Pension, even though he paid his stamps every week – and then I was awarded the princely sum of £100 a month, for 18 months, in something called Bereavement Support, when it will then cease, and nothing will replace it :(

    As far as I was aware, though, PIP was one of the benefits that WASN’T going to be turned over to UC – have you better info than I was able to find, Mike?

    • Mike Sivier October 16, 2018 at 12:48 am - Reply

      I think it might be that Mrs Mike has worse info than you. I was paying attention to her.

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