WATCH: Women are being forced into prostitution because of Universal Credit, Frank Field claims
Women are turning to prostitution because of Universal Credit, according to a veteran MP.
Frank Field, chair of the powerful Work and Pensions Committee, told the Commons that some of his constituents had been forced into sex work as a result of the Government’s controversial welfare reforms.
He said that the roll-out of the flagship policy in his own Birkenhead constituency was "not going as well as we are told in the House of Commons, where some women have taken to the red-light district for the first time".
Mr Field asked Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey if she would "come to Birkenhead and meet those women’s organisations and the police who are worried about women’s security being pushed into this position".
Ms McVey, who has been under fire after admitting last week that Universal Credit would leave some claimants “worse off”, despite Theresa May's claims to the contrary, suggested that there were other jobs available to the women.
She said: “We need to work with those ladies and see what help we can give them from the work coaches right the way through to various charities and organisations.
“In the meantime, I might add that perhaps he could tell these ladies and the work coaches can that now we have got record job vacancies – 830,000 job vacancies and perhaps there are other jobs on offer.”
Universal Credit has caused controversy during its roll-out across the country, with reports emerging of financial hardship experienced by claimants.
Former Prime Minister John Major last week warned that if the scheme wasn’t reformed it could be as damaging to the Tories as the Poll Tax was in the early 1990s.
Over the weekend 27 Conservative MPs wrote to the Chancellor calling for £2-3bn in extra funding to ensure that some groups were not left “significantly out of pocket”.