Alex Sobel MP slammed Universal Credit in yesterday’s Opposition Day debate on Universal Credit in the House of Commons.
The Labour Party called the debate to demand a pause to the rollout of Universal Credit to allow time to fix the numerous problems with the new system.
In the vote that followed the debate, MPs voted 299 to 0 in favour of the motion. Not a single Conservatives MP voted.
As it was an Opposition Day Motion, the Government are not bound by the outcome of the vote.
In his speech, the last of the debate, Mr Sobel said:
“Universal credit was designed to offer a distinctly Conservative solution to a distinctly Conservative analysis of Britain today. It will teach a claimant how to make the right spending decisions by forcing them into rent arrears. It will help someone to resolve the conflicts in their relationship by depositing the sum total of their benefits into their partner’s bank account. It will put a whole month’s rent, previously paid directly to the landlord, into the pocket of a parent who is struggling with debt and dependency.
When we hear from the frontline about the problems with universal credit—long payment delays, rent arrears, domestic abuse victims trapped, and the arbitrary sanction of payments—we must understand that they are no accident; they are about ideology. They are not bugs; they are features. That is why we need to pause and to fix the system of universal credit.”
Speaking after the debate Alex Sobel said:
“I hope that the Government has heard our call to pause universal credit to fix these huge problems. There are single parents in our constituency who cannot afford to wait six weeks for payment and who do not have savings to tide them over if they lost their job. If the system isn’t fixed before it’s rolled out, children in Leeds North West and across the country will go hungry. In its current form, Universal Credit is very good news for payday loan companies and perpetrators of domestic financial abuse – and very bad news for single parents and their children, people with disabilities and self-employed people”.