Leader of DWP workers union says Universal Credit is 'unmitigitated failure'

By agency reporter
October 15, 2018

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the Public and Commerical Services union (PCS) has accused the government of being “complicit in the suffering” of Universal Credit claimants, labelling the system a complete failure.

The union called on ministers to immediately halt the so-called 'managed migration' of three million more people on to this "disastrous and broken system", which is due to take place next year.

PCS, which represents over 50,000 workers in DWP, also called on Labour, if elected, to radically overhaul the social security system, to make it humane and fit for the millions of disabled, unemployed and sick who need help from the state.

Mark Serwotka said: “Universal Credit has failed claimants, leaving many with mounting debt, facing eviction from their homes and in many cases leaving entire families going hungry.

“Our members who work in the DWP have repeatedly warned about the chronic problems endemic to Universal Credit. They see claimants suffer everyday but are hamstrung by a draconian system which puts emphasis on punishing people rather than helping them.

“Ministers are making themselves complicit in the suffering of claimants by ignoring the evidence and insisting three million more people should be forced on to Universal Credit next year.

“Due to the inhumane social security system that this heartless Tory government has put in place, we now see reports of children suffering from rickets and malnutrition.”

Despite the overwhemling evidence showing the systematic problems with UC, Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer caused controversey with tweets claiming that "bad press" was Universal Credit's major problem.

Mark Serwotka lambasted the MP saying: "The wilful ignorance shown by Johnny Mercer is what we have come to expect from Tory MPs who are trying to defend this government’s indefensible record on Universal Credit.

“Universal Credit is an unmitigated failure. Its roll out has been plagued by staff cuts, IT problems and claimants not getting the money they need, driving many into poverty and hunger.

“To attempt to deny these facts by saying that it’s all simply bad press shows the lengths Tory politicians will go to try and hoodwink the public.

“Instead of taking part in carefully choreographed jobcentre visits, we invite him to sit down with our members who can tell him of their direct experiences of working in an inhumane system that should be scrapped.”

* Public and Commerical Services Union https://www.pcs.org.uk/

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