Universal Credit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:53 pm on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood 1:53 pm, 17th October 2018

I should not really be shocked. I have been an MP for long enough and I have heard the rhetoric from the Government for long enough not to be shocked. I have to say, however, that listening to the Secretary of State today, and the tenor of the interventions and comments we have heard from some Government Members, beggars belief. Their approach is utterly divorced from reality. This programme was supposed to be about so-called compassionate conservatism. If the Government really believed the rhetoric behind the programme when they set it up, that it was about making work pay and all those high ideals, they, and the Secretary of State in particular, would show some humility in their approach to the debate.

Clearly, the Secretary of State has made the political decision to front this out while our constituents are being forced to live in misery and face destitution. That is not compassionate, that is not humane and that is not moral. I urge the Secretary of State to reflect on the attitude she is displaying to the House, our constituents and the country in the way that she is approaching this debate, because it is not acceptable. It flies in the face of the rhetoric the Government themselves use. What they are doing today is unbelievable.