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Jeremy Corbyn says Universal Credit is leading to 'blanket threats of eviction'

Jeremy Corbyn says Universal Credit is leading to 'blanket threats of eviction'

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Jeremy Corbyn has demanded the Government halts the roll-out of its flagship benefits reform as he claimed it was leading to “blanket threats of eviction”.

In the Commons today the Labour leader brandished a letter from an letting agent telling Universal Credit claimants in North East Lincolnshire they had two months to get themselves out of rent arrears or face being thrown out.

He said the so-called Section 21 notice had gone to hundreds of homes in the area from letting agent GAP Property.

The claim piles further pressure on the Government over Universal Credit, which has been beset with delays since it was first announced.

MPs and lobby groups from across the political divide have warned that cuts to the benefit and the six week wait for new claimants to receive their first payment was pushing them further into debt.

A recent Observer investigation found half of all council tenants on Universal Credit across 105 local authorities were at least one month behind on their rent.

That compares with less than 10% of those who who remain on housing benefit.

Mr Corbyn declared today: “Blanket notices of eviction handed to tenants because of Universal Credit are totally unacceptable, should shock us all and bring shame on this Conservative Government.

“Ministers have been told over and over again that the roll-out of their flagship social security policy is causing debt, hardship and homelessness, and this is further proof of the devastating impact it is having.

“The Tories must immediately pause the roll-out and fix these problems that are turning people’s lives upside down.”

But speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions today, Theresa May said: "There have been concerns raised in this house previously over the issue of people managing their budgets to pay rent.

"But what we actually see is that after four months the number of people on Universal Credit in arrears has fallen by a third."

Sky News reported today that the Government is preparing to row back on the controversial six-week wait and reduce it to four or five weeks.

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