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 wish it was just one case. I would happily bring them all to the Minister and he can tell me how I should respond to my constituents, but my experience of engaging with the Department on this matter is not a happy one. If he wants to become the constituency caseworker for the whole of the House for universal credit cases, he will be a very busy man. In fact, it would be easier for him to improve the system and fund it properly so that people are not forced into destitution in the first place.

There is a particular difficulty in my constituency relating to constituents with autism and other mental health conditions moving on to universal credit, often because they have failed the assessment—they had previously been in receipt of employment and support allowance—having not been supported as they tried to navigate a very complicated online system. The support that is available is simply not enough. I invite the Government and the Minister, in that spirit, to revisit some of those issues, because they are not ones that he will be hearing from me for the first time.

In this context, it beggars belief that the Government wish to continue with managed migration. There is only one fair, humane and compassionate thing that they could do for all the people facing difficulty under the system: stop the roll-out and try to genuinely engage and fix the problems of universal credit right now, before they move on. Most importantly, however, they need to fund it properly, because this is a vehicle for cuts—they know it, we all know it, and our constituents are paying the price for it.