The first ever Work & Pensions Select Committee using video link ran smoothly this morning but revealed very worrying answers from DWP. Ministers told MPs that IT system come before people’s needs. The coronavirus means 1.5 million more people claiming Universal Credit but they cannot have loan repayments deferred because the ‘computer says no’ – the automated system won’t allow it leaving people facing debt and destitution as we have seen for several years now. The benefits system should put people, not PCs first. You can read more about this on:…/dwp-chiefs-say-didnt-really-2191……/universal-credit-system-will-…

I also raised the issue of help for people whose lives are being ruined by ‘hostile environment’ rules denying them access to benefits. The Home Secretary said the Government was reconsidering this approach and councils have been told to house homeless people in these circumstances, but Ministers had no answers to our questions on this issue today. This is deeply worrying for the people involved and for councils spending on
accommodation as directed but with no clear means of covering costs.

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