Despite the hysteria around yesterday’s election announcement and today’s vote in Parliament, I remain fully focused on representing my constituents at Westminster and holding the Tories to account over their harmful austerity cuts.
I have received countless emails from constituents who are struggling to get by as a result of the Universal Credit roll out and in a debate this afternoon I called for the disastrous roll out to be halted with immediate effect.
The roll out has been a complete dog’s breakfast, with people being left without any income for weeks on end and this ludicrous situation has resulted in arrears and some constituents falling into a spiral of debt and despair. On top of this, studies have shown that the combined effect of cruel Tory austerity cuts, such as the reductions to Universal Credit, will force one million more children into poverty by 2020.
When a social security system is acting completely contrary to its original purpose – substantially increasing rather than reducing poverty – it’s surely time to go back to the drawing board and ask what it is we are trying to achieve.