The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ‘poisonous’ policies just got a very public dressing down. And hopefully, Esther McVey was watching.
The DWP: ‘poison’
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…
[It] needs to go.
And it seemed many people agreed with BENEFITS NEWS. Because people took to Twitter to vent their anger at the DWP:
— Sundancin' Paul (@Sundancer_UK) October 10, 2018
"If Universal Credit is so convoluted and ineffective that voluntary sector organisations are relied upon, then it should not be implemented at all." https://t.co/s5A8JXisW4 #ToryPoison #GetTheToriessOut #scrapuniversalcredit
— SheffieldUncut (@SheffieldUncut1) October 10, 2018
If austerity has ended, why more UC benefit cuts?#ToryPoison & lies
— Elaine Dyson #GTTO (@ElaineDyson1) October 10, 2018
Before ESA, there was Incapacity Benefit. In December 2016, it was discovered that DWP had under calculated 75,000 people's entitlement. The same DWP are now moving people off ESA onto the #TORYPOISON of Universal Credit.
— Pat Cottam🖐 (@PatCottam) October 10, 2018
— Alan ⚒ Weaver (@alanweaver1957) October 10, 2018
But people didn’t just focus on the DWP:
Tory-led Lancashire Council all voted in favour of nice new iPhones for themselves, costing £38,000. Next on their agenda was dealing with disabled peoples bus fares, which they voted to DOUBLE, raising £43,000, which covered the new iPhone cost quite nicely. This is #ToryPoison
— Rachael Swindon #GTTO (@Rachael_Swindon) October 10, 2018
— Nicola Jeffery (@NicolaCJeffery) October 10, 2018
— The Agitator (@UKDemockery) October 10, 2018
A toxic benefit
Universal Credit replaces six old benefits (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 reported, it’s been mired in scandal. Just last week, there was a damning report by food-bank network the Trussell Trust. It pinned the blame on rising food-bank use to Universal Credit. Also, 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.
Judging by the feeling on Twitter, it seems many people think the Tories’ Universal Credit is indeed poison. And who knows? If the public keeps up enough pressure, maybe they’ll dump the toxic benefit.