UK Government must respond to damning criticisms of Universal Credit

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SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has said that the UK government must respond to the damning criticisms in a report that exposed the “shambolic” roll out of Universal Credit.

The south Scotland MSP has backed calls from the party’s social justice spokesperson at Westminster, Neil Gray MP, for the Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions to respond to the concerns raised in the National Audit Office report on ‘Rolling Out Universal Credit’.

The report, published on Friday, confirms the roll-out of Universal Credit has been too slow, does not deliver value for money, and causes hardship.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“The Tory government cannot continue to brush aside the deep and damaging failings of their Universal Credit system – which is pushing families into poverty, hardship, and crisis across Dumfries and Galloway and Scotland. Many families are being forced to rely on emergency aid and food banks just to get by as a result of the shambolic roll out of this policy.

“The National Audit Office report exposes the damaging impact Universal Credit is having, and raises serious criticisms of the roll out. The fact that it has not delivered value for money – that it is uncertain it ever will – and that it may end up costing more than the system it replaces, is a damning indictment of the Tories’ callous policy.

“The DWP has ploughed ahead despite all the warnings, and the total disregard shown for the hardship faced by claimants is nothing short of immoral. The UK Government continues to be bogged down in its own Brexit mess, and what this report shows is that the DWP flagship welfare reform is completely rudderless.

“The Secretary of State must answer for these failings. The SNP will continue to do everything we can to hold the UK government to account for the appalling damage this policy has caused.”