The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) flagship benefit Universal Credit it proving pretty unpopular. But its branding as ‘toxic’ by a former aide to a Conservative prime minister has inspired a campaign group to act. And it wants you to join in.
The DWP: toxic in every way?
The contentious new benefit replaces six old ones (known as “legacy benefits“) with one payment. Currently, in what’s known as “live service”, Universal Credit has been rolled out in certain areas for new claims. Soon, the DWP will move everyone onto “full service“, including those on legacy benefits. This process is due to start in 2019.
But as The Canary has documented, it’s been mired in scandal. Most recently was a damning report by food-bank network the Trussell Trust. It directly pinned the blame on rising food-bank use to Universal Credit. Both Unite the Union and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have said Labour must pledge to scrap it. And it appears the party is listening. Because shadow chancellor John McDonnell hinted during a Sky News interview that scrapping it may become policy.
Tweet it out
Campaign group BENEFITS NEWS is seeking to keep up the pressure on the DWP and the Conservative government. So it’s leading a Twitterstorm about ‘toxic’ Universal Credit. It starts on Wednesday 10 October at 7pm:
PASS IT ON ………… EVERYONE NEEDS TO START SAME DATE, SAME TIME… NOT BEFORE!
The reason for this one is TORIES don't want MORE people to know about their TOXIC policy Universal Credit and their DEVIOUS CONNIVING WAYS – so we EXPOSE them SOME MORE! #ToryPoison
WEDS 7PM !! pic.twitter.com/zbT1KwHP9C
— BENEFITS NEWS (@BENEFITS_NEWS) October 9, 2018
BENEFITS NEWS told The Canary:
The term ‘poison’ stems from ex Tory aide Claire Foges saying Universal Credit must be halted before it becomes ‘poison’. She said the ‘lefties have a point’.
Universal Credit has been toxic since the start, as the Tories nearly scrapped it. But it’s now much worse. Most recently, leaks of Esther McVey’s secret meetings where she told ministers that families on the benefit faced losing £200 per month.
But who in their right mind would expect severely sick and disabled to attend Job Centres anyway? Toxic Universal Credit needs to go.
Hence why the group is doing the Twitterstorm. But it’s also asking people to tweet other things they think are ‘toxic’ about the Tories. So dive in. There’s a lot to choose from.