PRESS RELEASE | Z2K Responds to the announcement that Labour will scrap Universal Credit

Raji Hunjan, CEO: "Universal Credit is based on the prejudices of its architects – that everyone can + should work + that those who are not should be forced to do so", she continues, “Amongst Z2K’s clients, disabled + seriously unwell people have been particularly badly affected by Universal Credit... Labour is absolutely right to call for an end to this social experiment on the nation’s poorest.”

Z2K Press Release, 27 September 2019 

Anti-poverty charity, Z2K, welcomed today’s news that Labour will scrap Universal Credit if it is elected.  Reacting to the announcement, Z2K’s Chief Executive, Raji Hunjan, said:

“For years now, we’ve heard stories about the misery that Universal Credit has caused – the evidence is indisputable.  Ministers have repeatedly tinkered round the edges of this policy, but its fundamentals remain unchanged.  It is based on the prejudices of its architects – that everyone can and should work and that those who are not should be forced to do so.  It also assumes everyone can manage their finances online and gets paid monthly.  Those assumptions just don’t hold true in the real world.  For far too many claimants, UC has sent them either spiralling into debt or forced to cut back on essentials.”

“Amongst Z2K’s clients, disabled and seriously unwell have been particularly badly affected when they have been “migrated” onto UC, especially if they are encouraged to do so after failing DWP’s discredited Work Capability Assessment.  UC undoubtedly creates winners, but it creates losers too.  Big losers.  And it is intolerable that a Social Security system, which Beveridge designed to protect the poorest and most vulnerable, should now see those same groups as collateral damage in a mindless drive to ‘make work pay’.  Labour is absolutely right to call for an end to this social experiment on the nation’s poorest.”

Labour is also pledging to scrap other aspects of the “welfare reform” agenda that have been implemented since 2010, including the Benefit Cap and Two Child Limit.  Responding to these announcements, Raji said:

“UC is an administrative obstacle course for many claimants, but the pernicious Benefit Cap and Two Child Limit are even worse, so Z2K is delighted to hear Labour say it will scrap both those as well.  The cap was founded upon a media stereotype that some families were raking in a thousand pounds each week, when the truth was that most of that money was going straight to their private landlord.  It has led many low-income families to fall into rent arrears and be evicted, while others have been left without the money they need to fed and clothe their children.  The quicker this cap and the equally poisonous Two Child Limit are scrapped the better.”

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