As many of you are aware, Universal Credit has rolled out in Hackney this month and replaces six other benefits with a single monthly payment. However, the introduction of Universal Credit is causing unacceptable hardship and difficulties for many people in Hackney and across the UK.

If you live in Hackney and need any advice on what Universal Credit will mean for you, visit the Hackney Council website https://www.hackney.gov.uk/universal-credit for useful advice.

The Public Accounts Committee, which I chair, has released a report on Universal Credit today which provides further damning evidence of a culture of indifference at the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Department for Work and Pensions has persistently dismissed evidence that Universal Credit is causing hardship for claimants and additional burdens for local organisations, and refuses to measure what it does not want to see. 

In 2013, the Committee raised concerns about the Department’s culture of reporting good news and denying problems that emerge. In further reports in 2015 and 2016, the Committee warned about the Department’s continued lack of transparency. 

It is hugely regrettable that the Department has not heeded these warnings. Instead of listening to organisations on the frontline supporting claimants, the Department has continued with its fortress mentality and, as a result, is failing claimants who struggle to adapt to the way Universal Credit works. 

You can read the full report here: