On 18th October, Jim McMahon MP Read from our statement on Universal Credit during the House of Commons debate. We thank him and all MPs speaking out against a welfare system which inflicts further punishment and adversity on vulnerable people.
See the video here.
Our full statement is below.
Our stance was also picked up in the following news outlets:
We have also received numerous messages of support from other organisations and campaigners. Thank you once more to all who are standing up for justice.
At the Greater Manchester Law Centre, we help people to navigate the existing benefits system. Vulnerable members of our community are struggling to access the support they deserve because of long and intimidating application forms and convoluted tribunal processes. In our first year, we helped clients with lost benefits to claim back over £400,000, which demonstrates that many people are having to fight protracted battles to receive benefits that they should never have been denied in the first place. The consequences of an ineffective welfare system can be devastating, and Universal Credit appears destined to worsen the situation.
As a voluntary sector organisation, we are steadfast in our stance on Universal Credit: we will not assist in its implementation. If Universal Credit is so convoluted and ineffective that voluntary sector organisations are relied upon, then it should not be implemented at all. For example, a local Job Centre approached us earlier this year to ask if we would provide computers and supervisors to help people keep online journals for Universal Credit.
Our response is clear: this is not the role of the voluntary sector. We will not be complicit in a scheme which results in further adversity and punishment for vulnerable people. We therefore refuse to offer Universal Credit services and we demand that its rollout is stopped.