DWP Secretary Amber Rudd – who had to resign as Home Secretary for her part in the ‘hostile environment’ scandal that caused hardship and humiliation for ‘Windrush’ citizens – may have a less slightly sneering manner than her predecessor Esther McVey, but the difference seems to be entirely cosmetic.
In fact, Ms Rudd seems to be just as intent on pressing ahead with the government’s programme of moving millions of unfortunate benefits claimants onto the hated Universal Credit (UC) system, which has inflicted misery and suffering on millions of claimants and their families and has been widely condemned for the poverty, debt and hunger it creates.
And she thinks it’s ‘doing a good job’.
Rudd was challenged in the Commons yesterday by Labour’s Shadow DWP Secretary Margaret Greenwood about the ‘devastating’ impact of the UC disaster – which Greenwood described as a ‘vehicle for cuts’ – and asked whether she would, at last, stop rolling it out to millions more.
Rudd’s answer was as appalling as it was unsurprising:
Rudd also made clear that her much-touted ‘pilot’ programme to test the ‘managed migration’ of claimants onto Universal Credit will do nothing to reduce the staggering 1.6 million additional claimants that she intends to shovel into UC in 2019.
A DWP spokesperson clarified that the pilot only concerns those claimants who will be moved from existing benefits straight onto UC without a change in circumstances – who, as Greenwood pointed out, will still be entirely responsible for making new UC claims in time to avoid losing out.
Those who make a first-time claim or who experience a change of circumstances affecting their benefits will be moved onto UC regardless of the trial – and without any transitional protections. The number of people who will suffer this ordeal is expected to be double the number of those who will benefit from any ‘management’.
Assuming, of course, that the pilot sorts out the additional disaster that is ‘managed migration’ – which foodbank charity the Trussell Trust recently described as:
not… managed in any sense.The Trussell Trust
As DWP Secretary, Amber Rudd might bring a slightly different tone to the role than her predecessor – but thanks to Margaret Greenwood, she’s been exposed as no less toxic to the UK’s poor and vulnerable citizens, including millions of children.
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