Universal Credit has failed to deliver for the most vulnerable in our society. Time and time again at my weekly advice surgery people tell me about the reality of living with this broken system, but their stories often fall on deaf ears. Today the Work and Pensions Select Committee released a report on the appalling link between Universal Credit and survival sex. The shocking reality is that some people are forced into sex work as a direct result of Government policy. It was harrowing to hear how desperate some people had become after being left with nothing under Universal Credit.
The Government’s initial response, as usual, was to ignore the problem. These horrific stories were dismissed as ‘anecdotes’ yet everyone suffering under Universal Credit has their own anecdote that is just a reality of their lives that the Government don’t want to hear. Our report makes a number of recommendations, including the removal of the five-week wait for Universal Credit and offering non-repayable advances. This will ensure that nobody is forced into horrendous situations in order to make up the shortfall. I will continue use my voice on the committee to challenge the DWP and the horrendous impact their policies are having.