Mark Whitehead 19 December 2018

Universal Credit potentially ‘disastrous’ for disabled people

MPs have warned of potentially 'disastrous' consequences for disabled people if the Universal Credit benefits system goes ahead as currently planned.

The Department for Work and Pensions has said no claimant will be worse off when they move onto the new system, and severely disabled people will get more than they would have done under the old system.

But members of the parliamentary work and pensions committee say less severely disabled people could 'pay the price'.

They say benefits top-ups for disabled people who do not have a paid-for carer under the previous system do not exist under Universal Credit.

Committee chair Frank Field said: 'It would be a terrible betrayal of these people to allow another failure of planning in this mega reform to worsen their situations, even one bit.

'No one should ever be forced further into poverty, deprivation, miserable hardship by a policy reform.

'The Government must assure disabled people across this country that will not happen to them, and plan and put the measures in place to make that promise good.'

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