PCS demands halt to “disastrous” Universal Credit roll-out

PCSThe PCS has written to Robert Devereux, Permanent Secretary at the DWP, demanding the department immediately halt the roll out of Universal Credit, ahead of the planned escalation in roll out in October.

The letter states that “We do not believe that rollout at this pace is achievable and is likely to have a detrimental impact on both claimants and our members.”

And that: “PCS shares the concerns of the Citizen’s Advice Bureaux (CAB) that Universal Credit is having an unacceptable impact on claimants’ ability to cope. The CAB reports that 39% are waiting longer than the already challenging 6 weeks for their first payment, 11% are waiting over 10 weeks without benefit, and 57% of claimants are having to borrow money to make ends meet.”

Commenting on the growing demands for a halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Universal Credit has been a disaster because it was driven by the Tories’ political choice to cut public spending and the full roll-out should be suspended immediately.

“The misery being inflicted by the government’s mishandling of this disastrous programme must be stopped. It is completely unacceptable that one in four claimants are waiting more than six weeks to receive support, pushing already vulnerable people further into poverty and despair.

“Cuts to DWP staff and resources must be reversed to give the department the means to develop a system that offers genuine help.”

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