MSP Joan McAlpine backed calls for the UK Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey to return to the Commons and give a statement, after a watchdog found she misled Parliament about Universal Credit.
The Work and Pensions Secretary apologised to the Commons last week after being caught ‘misleading’ parliament over comments by the National Audit Office on the social security system.
She said she had “mistakenly” told MPs on Monday the National Audit Office felt the benefit was progressing too slowly and should be rolled out faster – when In fact the watchdog had outlined a catalogue of failings in the system.
MSP Joan McAlpine said the apology did not go far enough.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“Universal Credit was rolled out in Dumfries and Galloway in May – and since then there has been a lot of confusion and concern throughout the region. The fact is that the rollout has been a shambles and is causing unnecessary hardship to people who have already suffered so much at the hands of Tory austerity.
“The government has been happy to mislead not just the Commons, but the public about Universal Credit for years, now they’ve been found out.
“All of Esther McVey’s lines in defence of Universal Credit have been torpedoed by the National Audit Office, which is why she was so desperate to undermine them on Monday. We knew she was wrong then, but her partial apology is just not enough and poses more questions than answers.
“Esther McVey needs to come back immediately and give a statement on Universal Credit, this time advising how she will address the concerns of the NAO, why she lied to the House and why she appears at odds with her own DWP officials.
“The Tories are in chaos, crisis managing rather than leading. They need to get a grip instead of ruining people’s lives.”