Labour Party holds Universal Credit protest in Berwick
Berwick constituency Labour Party members held a protest on Saturday against the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) in north Northumberland.
Universal Credit continues to be implemented, despite concerns at the highest international level.
The Labour group says there is clear evidence of the harm and distress it causes to claimants, highlighting that UN special investigator Philip Alston recently reported that Universal Credit ‘was fast falling into universal discredit’.
He said that vulnerable claimants were struggling to survive, suffering serious harm to their mental health, finances and work prospects.
A spokesman for the Berwick group said: “We wholeheartedly agree with Philip Alston’s call for the end of the five-week delay in receiving benefits, and of harsh and arbitrary benefits sanctions.
“There is significant evidence already in the public sphere that Universal Credit disproportionately disadvantages women and disabled people, leaving families in debt, rent arrears and at risk of becoming homeless. Labour is committed to supporting claimants instead of punishing vulnerable members of our society.
Berwick Constituency Labour Party disability officer, Sarah Roloefs, added: “The Government continues to ignore the evidence, showing a cynical disregard for facts and reinforcing the UN investigator’s view that this continued roll-out is a wilful pursuit of a callous policy which hurts those least able to defend themselves.”