- Gerald backs Labour Party’s pledge to scrap and replace Universal Credit with new system
- 1,980 Universal Credit claimants in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency in September 2019 – 665 higher than September 2018
- According to Citizens Advice Bureau, Universal Credit raised 1,882 times in cases in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency in 2018-19
- Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP has called on UK Government to take urgent action over Universal Credit various times in Parliament, including on advance payment and repayment periods
Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, has backed the Labour Party’s pledge to scrap Universal Credit, and replace it with a social security system that focuses on alleviating and ending poverty, not driving people into it.
The move comes after a year-long review into the social security system by Labour’s Work, Pensions and Equality Policy Commission.
Labour MPs, including Gerald Jones, have repeatedly held the government to account in Parliament on the roll-out of Universal Credit and have long drawn attention to the link between the system and increased food bank usage and the rise in poverty levels across the UK.
In government, Labour would scrap Universal Credit; this major policy change cannot be delivered overnight, but Labour would introduce an emergency package of measures, and:
- Reduce the five-week wait for first payment;
- End the benefit cap;
- Scrap the two-child limit;
- Suspend sanctions and the claimant agreement, and
- End the “digital only” approach and recruit 5,000 new social security advisers so that people can have face-to-face, telephone and outreach support
The latest figures from the House of Commons Library show that in September in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency, 1,980 people claimed Universal Credit – 665 higher than in September 2018 and almost 6 per cent of the working age population, compared to the 3.7 per cent UK average rate.
Gerald Jones said:
“I welcome the announcement by Jeremy Corbyn that a Labour government would scrap Universal Credit.
“The current system is deeply flawed, and that is why we would replace Universal Credit with a new system which supports people rather than punishes them.
“I have called on the UK Government to take urgent action over Universal Credit and end the misery and hardship of so many people in our country time and time again, and I will continue to push for change until this failing system has been scrapped and replaced.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said:
“Universal Credit has been an unmitigated disaster. As well as being behind schedule and over budget, it is inhumane and cruel, driving people into poverty and hardship.
“The Tories told us that Universal Credit would make work pay, but we have seen the opposite. More and more people who are falling into poverty have jobs, and more and more children who are growing up in poverty are living in working families.
“Labour will introduce a new system based on the principles of dignity and respect and it will alleviate and end poverty, not drive people into it.”