15 December 2018 9:30am–12:00pm
Council offices Belmont House, Rectory Lane TS14 7FD
Assemble 10.30 am Council offices Belmont House, Rectory Lane TS14 7FD
March through Westgate for rally at 12.00 mid-day, Prior Pursglove College, Church Walk, Guisborough, TS14 6BU
Speakers: Anna Turley MP; Clare Williams (UNISON); Lauren Dingsdale (Labour Party PPC); Fran Heathcote (PCS); UNITE speaker. Rally chaired by Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council
Tories in denial over Universal Credit
Universal Credit (UC), the government’s flagship social security system is fraught with problems, and causing real poverty and hardship in our communities.
Redcar and Cleveland Council and Anna Turley MP wrote to the Secretary of State calling for Universal Credit roll-out to be stopped in our area. They are concerned about the impact of UC on vulnerable constituents.
Instead of recognising these concerns and supporting constituents, Simon Clarke MP claims that Universal Credit is wonderful, and the sooner it is rolled out the better.
This shows a callous disregard for low paid workers and benefit recipients. He denies the overwhelming evidence that UC is a failing system which drives people further into poverty.
UC – a failing system
There is plenty of evidence to show Universal Credit is failing. According to the Resolution Foundation, 3 million people are worse off under UC, including a large proportion of working families.
• MP’s on the Work and Pensions Select Committee savaged the Universal Credit sanctions regime as “pointlessly cruel”
• Local charity Footsteps in the Community have seen a marked increase in the use of food banks
• A recent survey of hundreds of PCS union members who work on the delivery of Universal Credit showed real concerns over failing IT systems, poor staffing levels and inadequate training.
• According to the Trussell Trust (UK’s largest food bank network) on average there is a 52% increase in the use of foodbanks when UC goes live in an area. Hardship is often caused by the transition to the new system.
• The National Audit Office clearly disputes government claims about UC. They state that the system is unlikely to ever deliver value for money to the tax payer.
• The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (December 2018) point to a relentless rise in the number of working families struggling to make ends meet, with over 4.1 million children now in poverty
• Families in Teesside consistently suffer from lower average wages and higher levels of child poverty
The government and Simon Clarke must listen to these concerns, not ignore them!