Labour bid to force ministers to reveal impact of Universal Credit

Posted On: 
17th October 2018

Labour will today try to force ministers to reveal the impact of Universal Credit on benefit claimants' incomes.

The Department for Work and Pensions will come under pressure to release analysis of the welfare shake-up.

The beleaguered welfare shake-up - which aims to roll six existing benefits into one - has been heavily criticised in recent weeks amid fears it could leave thousands of people worse off.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Margaret Greenwood will today use an Opposition Day Debate in the Commons to try to push the Department for Work and Pensions into releasing its own impact assessment of the overhaul.

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The party will use an arcane parliamentary procedure known as a humble address - previously used to force the release of the Government's Brexit impact assessment - to try to compel the publication of analysis of the shake-up on people's incomes.

Ms Greenwood said: “Universal Credit has pushed many families into poverty, debt and misery. Even Esther McVey has admitted that families will be worse off.

"The Government must come clean about its plans and make public what they know about the impact of the roll-out of Universal Credit on vulnerable people and families."

Speaking on Tuesday, Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey confirmed that the "migration" of existing welfare claimants to Universal Credit would be delayed until later in 2019.

But minister Alok Sharma refused to comment on a BBC report that the wider scheme - originally launched in 2013 - was now unlikely to be up and running until 2023.

Ms McVey last week admitted that some people "could be worse off" under the reform, while former Conservative prime minister John Major warned that ministers risked a poll-tax style backlash if they failed to address concerns with the scheme.