Jeremy Corbyn announces a Labour government would scrap Universal Credit

Posted On: 
27th September 2019

A Labour government would scrap Universal Credit, Jeremy Corbyn is to announce.

Jeremy Corbyn says Labour will scrap Universal Credit.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Labour leader will announce the policy at a rally in the constituency of Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of the controversial benefit.

Mr Corbyn will describe Universal Credit - which has been hit by a succession of delays and cost over-runs since it was introduced almost a decade ago - as an "unmitigated disaster".

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Addressing a rally in Chingford, Essex, on Saturday, he will say that the Department for Work and Pensions would be replaced by a new Department of Social Security.

The Labour reforms would include scrapping the benefit cap and ending the two-child limit for claimants, and introducing immediate payments instead of the current five-week wait.

Mr Corbyn will say: "Universal Credit has been an unmitigated disaster. As well as being behind schedule and over budget it is inhumane and cruel, driving people into poverty and hardship.

"Social security is supposed to give people dignity and respect, not punish and police them, make them wait five weeks for the first payment or fill out a four-page form to prove their child was born as a result of rape.

"The Universal Credit system sums up the priorities of the Conservatives – who think they're born to rule."

He will add: "It’s time to end this cruelty. So today I can tell you that Labour will scrap Universal Credit. And we will replace the Department for Work and Pensions with a Department for Social Security – this will provide real security.

"When a Labour government takes office we will introduce an emergency package of reforms to end the worst aspects of Universal Credit.

"And we will introduce a new system that will be based on the principles of dignity and respect and it will alleviate and end poverty, not drive people into it."

Labour had previously pledged to end the national rollout of Universal Credit if it wins the next election.

It is understood Mr Corbyn had originally planned to announce the new policy in his Labour conference speech, but he was forced to rip it up after Parliament was recalled in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on prorogation.