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Stories of benefit claimants being forced to steal to feed their families are starting to come in thick and fast – just as This Site predicted long ago.

And what’s to blame? Of course – Universal Credit.

In this instance, it seems Shane Norman and Stacey Lawson used their child’s push chair to conceal £21 worth of food they took from Iceland in Lincoln.

They had been pushed onto Universal Credit recently and – inevitably – their first payment had been delayed (in order to push them deep into poverty, surely, although the Tory government always denies this).

The couple had used up all the visits to the food bank that they were allowed and believed they had no alternative.

According to Lincolnshire Live, Mark McNeil spoke for the couple in court. He said: “The couple were caught in a benefits gap as it was changing over to universal credit.

“They were left for weeks without any income. This was an act of desperation.

“Had the benefits been paid on time as they should be, they would have not found themselves in this situation.”

His words are clear. The Conservative government drove this couple to crime by its own improper behaviour. It pushed them to desperation – as it has pushed many others and will push many more.