Angela backs foodbank recommendations on Universal Credit

Angela Crawley MP has today backed the Trussell Trust’s recommendations in their report “Foodbank’s Experience of Universal Credit” after it was revealed that 5332 three day emergency food supplies were given to people facing crisis, with 1873 children receiving support.

The recommendations in the report include:

  1. Implementing a Universal Support service which supports people transitioning onto the service or making a new claim, expanding support for people with the greatest financial need, and extending support beyond the initial claim or transition.
  2. An urgent inquiry into poor administration within Universal Credit and its effects, particularly in relation to insecure work and incomes.
  3. More flexibilities for people with limited capacity for work and a yellow-card warning system for sanctioning.

The report found that whilst the majority of respondents were waiting or had waited their intended weeks, that the wait still had severe implications including 70 per cent of respondents reporting themselves in debt.

It also found that there was limited statutory support whilst the claimant awaited payment and that poor administration was a persistent concern.

Commenting on the report, Angela said: “Rather than being part of the big-society, the rise in need for foodbanks prove that the so-called big society is failing.

“If there is one thing that is clear from this report it’s that austerity does not work and the UK Government’s bad policy is having a real impact on people across the country.

“Instead of driving people further into poverty by rolling-out Universal Credit further, the Tories must tackle its root causes.

“The Scottish Government is currently spending £100m a year on mitigating the worst effects of welfare cuts, but this is money that could be much better spent elsewhere.

“With some new powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament it gives Scotland the opportunity to take a different approach to the Tories and the SNP is committed to putting dignity and respect at the heart of social security.

“However, with 85 per cent of welfare spending still in the hands of Tories, the UK Government must take urgent action to reverse the damage done by their regressive social policies to the most disadvantaged in my constituency.”