Law Centre 'will not be complicit' in implementation of Universal Credit

By agency reporter
October 12, 2017

Greater Manchester Law Centre has released the following statement on Universal Credit:

"At the Greater Manchester Law Centre, we help people to navigate the existing benefits system. Vulnerable members of our community are struggling to access the support they deserve because of long and intimidating application forms and convoluted tribunal processes.

"In our first year, we helped clients with lost benefits to claim back £370,000, which demonstrates that many people are having to fight protracted battles to receive benefits that they should never have been denied in the first place. The consequences of an ineffective welfare system can be devastating, and Universal Credit appears destined to worsen the situation.

"As a voluntary sector organisation, we are steadfast in our stance on Universal Credit: we will not assist in its implementation. If Universal Credit is so convoluted and ineffective that voluntary sector organisations are relied upon, then it should not be implemented at all.

"For example, a local Job Centre approached us earlier this year to ask if we would provide computers and supervisors to help people to create bank accounts and apply for Universal Credit. Our response is clear: this is not the role of the voluntary sector. We will not be complicit in a scheme which results in further adversity and punishment for vulnerable people. We therefore refuse to offer Universal Credit services and we demand that its rollout is stopped."

Greater Manchester Law Centre aims to provide free legal advice and representation to the residents of the entirety of the Greater Manchester region. Its work focuses on the needs of clients who for multiple reasons of exclusion cannot access legal help from private solicitors. As well as offering legal advice, Greater Manchester Law Centre campaigns for the restoration of comprehensive legal aid as an essential part of the welfare state. 

* Greater Manchester Law Centre http://www.gmlaw.org.uk/

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