Last week, local campaigners handed me a petition calling on the Government to scrap Universal Credit. I’ve consistently campaigned against Universal Credit and I’ll be submitting the petition to the Government on behalf of everyone who signed it.
I’ve seen first-hand the devastating effects of Universal Credit as payment delays and sanctions have pushed local people into debt, destitution and even homelessness. In Sheffield, sanctions reached a peak in March 2018 when 363 people – 15% of sanctionable Universal Credit claimants – had their payments reduced in a single month. In Sheffield Heeley, the figure for that month was a staggering 18% – three times higher than the corresponding national figure of 6%.
Volunteers at local foodbanks have told me that the rollout of Universal Credit in our city led to a sudden and dramatic increase in demand.
I’m proud that Labour policy is to scrap Universal Credit and we’ll replace it with a fairer and more just system. In the meantime, if you need help with Universal Credit or any other benefit, you can find useful advice here and contact my office for further support.