Press Release, 30 January 2020
Anti-poverty charity, Z2K, welcomes Stephen Timms as Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee.
We are looking forward to working with the Committee to ensure that the Government delivers on its commitment to reduce poverty through the tax and benefits system, and to ensure that those who truly can’t work are given the help they need.
There is a lot to do. As it stands, the social security system consistently fails to effectively support people out of poverty, and for many is a cause of further suffering. In the past five years, Z2K has helped over a thousand people who are disabled or seriously unwell appeal against DWP’s decision that they are “fit for work”. While those decisions are still only rarely overturned at the Mandatory Reconsideration stage, our success rate at the independent appeal Tribunal in 2019 was 92 per cent.
With the rollout of Universal Credit, disabled and seriously unwell Z2K clients who have been “migrated” onto Universal Credit, have been particularly badly affected. As one of our clients explains, “I was struggling and panicking… [Z2K] helped me to do a lot of things like council tax, PIP for my husband, Universal Credit… If I would not come to Z2K organisation, I would be in a very bad condition because I have physical and mental illness.”
Reacting to the appointment of the new Work and Pensions Committee, Z2K’s Chief Executive, Raji Hunjan, said:
“It is of increasing concern to us that people who are suffering most under the weight of welfare reform, are not being heard by those in positions of power. There are a number of changes that could be so easily made and could have significant positive impact for our clients and many more. We do hope that the new select committee will continue to listen to the voices of smaller charities and the communities we are so close to.”