Universal Credit (UC) is bad for health and wellbeing, academics have found in a new study commissioned by Gateshead MBC.
The research found that people claiming UC were being forced into debt, rent arrears and extreme hardship, with serious consequences for their health and wellbeing.
It revealed a complicated, dysfunctional and punitive system, prone to administrative errors, and found no evidence that moving onto UC was helping people into employment.
Director of public health at Gateshead, Alice Wiseman, said the welfare reform was having a ‘shocking impact’ on the lives of claimants, adding: ‘UC is a significant concern for public health.’
Deputy council leader, Catherine Donovan, said: ‘With Christmas coming, the impact on communities and families will be extremely hard. I’m calling on Government to scrap UC as a matter of urgency.’