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Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell gave a passionate speech at a rally in Brighton pledging to get “rid of the bloody Universal Credit”. Speaking about how Labour plans to transform the economy should they win the likely upcoming General Election, McDonnell vowed to reverse the Tories hostile and oppressive welfare reforms.
While some may want Brexit to dominate any impending General Election, the Shadow Chancellor has other ideas. John McDonnell used his speech in Brighton to outline how Labour will improve the lives of those suffering from austerity.#
McDonnell has long spoken about his desire to scrap Universal Credit, even though it goes against Labour Policy. I have been critical of their “root and branch review” stance they have been holding for over a year.
Speaking in Brighton on the eve of his Conference Speech, The Shadow Chancellor attacked the Tories on their welfare policies and made his strongest attack on them yet. He told the large crowd;
“That has to be on the basis of enabling people to have a decent quality of life with an adequate income.
“That has to mean getting rid of the bloody universal credit.”
He also pledged to rid us of “the scourge of the bedroom tax” and committed to ending the benefit freeze as soon as Labour takes office.
The benefit freeze has had a major impact on claimants as inflation has been much higher than was predicted by George Osbourne in 2015. While the cost of living has risen, Universal Credit claimants have seen the payments cover less and less.
While Brexit is the biggest issue for some, many people argue that the rise of poverty, foodbank use and inequality is a much more pressing issue.
As more and more people have been forced onto Universal Credit, in-work poverty has risen. People are waking up to the reality that it isn’t just the unemployed who’re affected by the Tories so-called “flagship policy”.
With the new regulations on mixed age couples have started in May, pensioners will now feel the squeeze too. As I recently reported, the UK now has the highest level of poverty amongst Pensioners in Western Europe. Unless these reforms are reversed, we risk worsening an already dire situation.
While nationalisation and work place reforms are popular policies, I believe that a firm pledge to scrap Universal Credit is a policy that could win a General Election.
14 million people in the UK are in poverty and it is rising every day nothing changes.
Labour must be clear and united on this issue. Universal Credit is a policy that has killed people. The name is tarnished and the system broken beyond repair. It has to go.
From “Health Assessments” that class terminally ill cancer patients as Fit to Work, to the two child limit, there’s barely anyone who relies on the welfare system left untouched.
This latest pledge by John McDonnell will be a welcomed by people left decimated by austerity and cuts.