Next phase of Universal Credit (UC) to be overhauled – Government rethinks ‘catastrophic’ benefits system
Jean Kilshaw, on behalf of Feeding Camden
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd is set to overhaul the rollout of UC following widespread criticism of the proposed extension of the welfare reform. According to media reports on 5/6 January 2019 she is scrapping plans for an imminent vote in the House of Commons which, if implemented, would allow 3 million existing welfare claimants to be moved over to UC.
Instead it appears that she plans to seek approval for a pilot scheme to move just 10,000 claimants over to UC to monitor the way the system works. The Observer reported that Ms Rudd is expected to announce the proposed pilot scheme this week. The paper also reports that the limited pilot scheme paves the way for the process to be further slowed should problems emerge.
Frank Field, Labour chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, is quoted in the Observer in response to the news:- “The Government seems finally to have woken up to the human catastrophe that was waiting to happen under its ill-formed plans for moving people onto universal credit.” Mr Field is also quoted in the Daily Mail: – “The Secretary of State deserves credit for revisiting these plans.”
Frank Field is the Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year
The Spectator has given their latestAward to the MP for Birkenhead. The Award is given to a MP who has best exemplified the finest traditions of parliament. Mr Field’s dedication to fighting poverty throughout his career is notable and the Award notes his becoming perhaps the most effective critic of universal credit.
New food waste champion appointed by the government
250 million meals are thrown away each year in the UK and the government has appointed a food waste champion to try to help prevent all food waste reaching landfill by 2030. He is philanthropist Ben Elliot who has worked with the Felix Project, a charity combating food waste and food poverty in London.