Labour calls on Tories to support Universal Credit pause motion


Ahead of a vote in the House of Commons today (Weds 18 October), Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary has challenged Tory MPs to support a motion to pause the roll out of the disastrous Universal Credit programme.

The call follows reports that up to 25 Conservative MPs may be willing to rebel against the Government over their flagship social security programme, as evidence continues to mount that it is pushing people further into debt, rent arrears and even evictions. A panicked Theresa May held emergency meetings with potential rebels on Tuesday in a bid to quell the anticipated revolt.

This will be a major test for a government. The DWP’s (Department for Work and Pensions) own data shows that one in four claimants are having to wait over six weeks to receive any funds, with half of those in rent arrears reporting that they went into debt after claiming Universal Credit.

Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, calling on Conservative MPs to support the motion, said:

The Government has so far not listened to MPs’ concerns about the mounting issues with their flagship social security programme. We must stand together to make our voices heard.

“I urge Conservative MPs to vote with their conscience and support our motion to pause the roll out of Universal Credit. The social security system is meant to protect people from debt and arrears, not exacerbate their situation.

“We must pause and fix Universal Credit now, before millions are made worse off.

One Tory MP will already be absent for the vote. New Scottish MP Douglas Ross – already infamous for incendiary comments about Gypsy Travellers on video – will be missing to ‘run the line’ at a Barcelona football match. This may mean that Tory ‘whips’ are not enforcing attendance – or even that the Tories will repeat their last-ditch tactic to avoid defeat in votes by simply not bothering to vote.


“Real wages will, remarkably, still be below their 2008 levels in 2021.” IFS, Autumn Statement analysis, 24 November 2016

“A record high of 55 per cent of people in poverty are in working households.” Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ‘In work poverty hits record high as the housing crisis fuels insecurity’, 07 December 2016

“Typically people on Universal Credit only have around £3 a month left to pay creditors.” Citizens Advice, ‘Universal Credit expansion is ‘a disaster waiting to happen‘ says Citizens Advice’, 11 September 2017

Government’s own data shows that one in four new claims is not being paid in full in six weeks and half of Universal Credit recipients need a loan to cover the first six weeks. DWP, ‘Universal Credit Statistical Ad Hoc: Payment Timeliness’, September 2017

Half of families in arrears under Universal Credit have said that their rent arrears started after they made their claim. DWP, ‘Research into families claiming Universal Credit’, September 2017

“More than 25 Tory MPs are now prepared to rebel over the Government’s flagship welfare reforms amid mounting calls for a “pause” in the roll-out of Universal Credit.” The Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2017

Phillip Hammond has conceded there is are “challenges” with Universal Credit. “We recognise that there is a challenge around the waiting time and the cash flow management that people have during that waiting time.” BBC Breakfast, 2 October 2017

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  1. Don’t let the Tories off the hook by going along with the idea that the hardship is caused by failings in the implementation of the Universal Credit system.The effects of the system that we are now seeing were entirely predictable and were fully intended. It has always been the case that new claimants for Universal Credit would have to wait at least four weeks before receiving their first payment. IDS must be delighted that its actually working out as six weeks.
    To anyone such as myself who worked in Social Housing for any length of time the fact that tenant claimants would go into huge rent arrears was also obvious from the day the Universal Credit scheme was announced. None of this comes as a shock to the Tories they have been working towards it since 2012 they have no intention of stopping Universal Credit it will only go when they go.

    1. Indeed, the consequences of UC on people with no savings was entirely predictable and must be taken as a deliberate attempt on their emotional and financial well-being, if not on their very lives.

      The Tories’ entire welfare “reform” programme has been designed as a kind of slow-motion cull of the poor. Drive them into the gutter and nobody will even care because they don’t even know because they’re too wrapped up in Bake Off or Facebook or whatever other distraction we can come up with for the dumb, MSM-addicted masses. The public are, after 3-odd years, finally aware of the UC apocalypse. Imaging their shock and horror when they find out how efficiently these “reforms” been culling the disabled. Hitler himself might be impressed…

      When Labour win the next election it’ll be time to officially proscribe the Tories as a terrorist organisation and have done with it!

    “NO I DON’T”!

  3. Phillip Hammond has conceded there is are “challenges” with Universal Credit. “We recognise that there is a challenge around the waiting time and the cash flow management that people have during that waiting time.”

    dominic raab on foodbanks:


    Yes folks -it’s YOUR fault for not managing the money we’re withholding from you.

    Bunch of two-hats. Boil my p1$$, so they do.

    1. well spotted Toffee – (off topic but are you the only one left after Koeman?) – it’s bloody hard managing a cash flow of NOTHING!!!

      1. (Still O/T) Koeman had a spend of £40m and looks to have spunked it…But like MP’s , bankers and Tv ‘celebrities’ he’s still rakin’ it in 🙁

        raab thinks the low-paid & unemployed have overdone shapps’ advice and spunked their pittance on beer & bingo instead of putting some aside for emergencies…


        …Hence their ‘Cash flow problems’.you see? :/

        I can’t say what I think about the majority of them rodents for fear of being lifted by special branch, or them bleating about ‘abuse from lefties’ , save to say I’d delight to find out about any ‘misfortune’ that becomes them.

  4. UC is the lifeblood of the tories. Empoverishing and killing the poor the unemployed and disabled is just ‘sport’ for these rancid human beings. There’s no way they are going to let up on this. Given that many many right wing (oxymoron) labour MPs go along with UC I can’t see any change.The tories are in full belt mode and are winning because there is NO viable challenge to their treason and murder – funny that in a so called ddemocracy.

  5. The payment delay is at least 6 weeks, it can be as long as 12 weeks.

    In addition, and the fatal flaw of this policy, is that not only does it combine all individual claims into one payment, it also combines all claims made by an entire household into one payment.

    This places entire families at imminent risk of eviction should, for example, a member of the family with access to the payments have an alcohol or drug misuse or gambling problem.

    This legislation must not be passed.

  6. This legislation must not be passed.

    Bit late for that. It’s already happening. IT WILL become national, but what it’s final form will be is anyone’s guess right now.

    UC (as a concept) seems to have garnered support from the entire political spectrum. It appears the nation’s lumbered with it now – and there’ll be many more amendments to come; which equals more money written off in future, more people left twisting in the wind and more misery and anger.

    I predicted civil unrest (by this year) about the welfare reforms as far back as 2013…Perhaps not on a ‘Poll Tax’ scale, but I reckon it will be big enough .

    This rollout goes through (with UC in it’s current form) and I’ll give it 6 months, unless a general election’s called before then.


    1. I do not accept the legitimacy of this Tory government, Toffee.

      The Tories lied to the Queen to form a government, and only remain in power due to taxpayer money being misappropriated to bribe an organisation with close links to terrorist groups.

      Therefore I do not consider it to be a legitimate government.

      As such I do not accept a single piece of legislation it passes.

    2. I don’t think that there is much doubt what the final form of UC will be it’s all in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and the Tories are not going to deviate from that.
      They are not going to change their underlying committment to imposing a means tested benefit system reinforced by conditionality and sanctions which is how UC has been devised .
      In the meanwhile what they will do is tweak some of the accompanying payment regulations. Things like not having to pay for the phone calls to the DWP for example is just good public relations but pretty small beer in the context of how UC will operate.
      We are in the roll-out period at the moment as UC is put into effect Job Centre area by Job Centre area. The scheme will be fully in force throughout the UK by September 2018 . Look out for an ever increasing number of people being subjected to severity of the new benefit regulations as time goes on.

  7. I accept this government is ilegitimate ( the naked offspring of Thatcher) but what exactly is going down here. There is very little in the way of legislature for 2017/2018 – so what the f*** are they all doing? Two year gap year for all MPs on the back of austerity and treason. Won’t read that in the sun or daily mail.

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