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Amber Rudd made a dramatic return to Theresa May's Cabinet as the Prime Minister sought to bolster her position following the backlash to her Brexit deal.Meanwhile, Leave-supporting Stephen Barclay has been promoted to Brexit Secretary from a ministerial role in the Department for Health.In a further reduction to the Brexit…
Universal Credit waiting times have "plunged people into misery and despair", according to a United Nations envoy.Professor Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said on Friday the introduction of Universal Credit has caused extreme hardship but could easily be reversed by the Government.He claimed…
A committee of MPs has called for an urgent reassessment of the Government's benefit sanctions regime, warning that the current system appears to be "pointlessly cruel" to some claimants.The human cost of the policy appears "simply too high", with evidence showing that its impact is at best "mixed" and at…
Problems with Universal Credit are driving an increase in the number of emergency supplies handed out at food banks, new figures reveal.The Trussell Trust said its network provided 658,048 supplies between April and September, a 13% increase on the same period a year ago.The charity said that if the five-week…
Jeremy Corbyn criticised Philip Hammond for delivering a "broken promise Budget" as he insisted austerity needs to end because it has failed. The Labour leader said eight years of austerity has "damaged our economy" and delayed the recovery, adding the Government has not abandoned the policy despite the Chancellor's latest…
Philip Hammond's Budget will do nothing for those "massacred" by the Universal Credit welfare reforms, a veteran MP has said. Frank Field, who chairs the Commons' Work and Pensions Committee, poured scorn over the Chancellor's Budget. He told MPs it would do little to help those who have been left…
Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has acknowledged further change is needed to the system of Universal Credit (UC) amid fresh warnings it is causing "unacceptable" hardship to claimants.Ms McVey (pictured) denied presiding over a culture of "indifference" after a committee of MPs accused her department of turning a "deaf…
Universal Credit is causing unacceptable hardship for many of its claimants, according to a report from a public spending watchdog.It suggested the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appears to be turning a "deaf ear" to these concerns.The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the department's "fortress mentality" is failing claimants…
Tens of thousands of cancer patients, including many who are terminally ill, will face further "hardship, stress and anxiety" if they are forced to transfer to Universal Credit (UC), a leading charity has warned.Some 26,000 sufferers receiving benefits face financial difficulty and worry if they are forced to move to…
A Scottish Conservative MSP has defended welfare reforms, claiming those who do not work “cannot have as many children as they like”.Michelle Ballantyne also told the Scottish Parliament’s chamber that Universal Credit was a “key part of reducing inequality in this country”.She said the six-in-one benefit payment was “working for…
The handling of Universal Credit has been a "slow-motion disaster" which risks plunging hundreds of thousands of people into poverty, Sir Vince Cable has claimed.The Liberal Democrat leader, who was in the coalition government which launched the welfare reform project, said the system was now on "life support" and needed…
An extra £1.67 billion is to be paid to tens of thousands of disabled benefit claimants after years of underpayments, the Government has revealed.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was criticised for its handling of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) after revealing an estimated 180,000 recipients are due arrears…
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