James backs scrapping Universal Credit
James backs scrapping Universal Credit

Bury North MP James Frith has backed Labour’s promise to scrap Universal Credit when in government.

James welcomed the plans set out by Labour to replace Universal Credit with a social security system that focuses on alleviating and ending poverty, not driving people into it.

In government, Labour will immediately end the worst aspects of Universal Credit, including:

  • Ending the benefit cap and the two child limit, which alone will stop up to 300,000 children being pushed into poverty;
  • Immediately suspending the punitive sanctions regime, which has been ineffective at supporting people back to work and has instead pushed people into poverty and reliance on foodbanks;
  • Ending Universal Credit’s “digital only” requirement, which excludes people who cannot access the internet or are not computer literate, and recruiting 5000 additional advisors to deliver this change;
  • Switching to split payments and fortnightly payments, including an automatic interim payment to end the five week wait.

As well as scrapping Universal Credit, Labour will replace the Department for Work and Pensions with a Department for Social Security, marking a radical shift from a system that punishes and polices people to one where social security will support people in finding work and treat them with dignity and respect.

James said:

“Universal Credit was meant to lift people out of poverty, simplify the social security system and smooth the transition into work.

“Instead it is failing those in need, pushing many into debt and rent arrears and forcing them to rely on food banks to survive.

“The two-child limit and the benefit cap are driving up child poverty, and the callous sanctions regime is punishing people instead of supporting them.

“Labour will scrap Universal Credit, put an end to the benefit cap and create a social security system that, just like our NHS, treats people with dignity and respect and is there for any one of us in our time of need.”

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