I beg to move,
That this House
censures the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the right hon. Member for Tatton, for her handling of the roll-out of universal credit and her response to the NAO report, Rolling Out Universal Credit;
notes that the Department for Work and Pensions’
own survey of claimants published on
further censures the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for not pausing the roll-out of universal credit in the light of this evidence;
and calls on the Government to reduce the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions’
ministerial salary to zero for four weeks.
The findings of the report “Rolling out Universal Credit” by the National Audit Office, published on
The NAO report raised real concerns about the impact on claimants, particularly the delays in payments, which are pushing people into debt, rent arrears and even forcing them to turn to food banks to survive. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions took nearly a week to come to the House to respond to the report on what is the Government’s flagship social security programme and a major public project. When she did so on
Her approach was shockingly complacent. It was as though she was oblivious to the hardship that so many people are suffering. She referred to universal credit as an example of “leading-edge technology” and “agile working practices”. She said that it was
“a unique example of great British innovation”
“Countries such as New Zealand, Spain, France and Canada have met us”— the Department for Work and Pensions—
“to see UC, to watch and learn what is happening for the next generation of benefit systems.”—[Official Report,
Vol. 643, c. 491.]
I do hope that they will listen to the testimony given by our Members today.