Charities urge Universal Credit rethink
Up to half a million disabled people and their families will be worse off under the Government's flagship Universal Credit benefit system, according to a new report.
The Children's Society, Citizens Advice and Disability Rights UK have urged ministers to rethink the plans, saying 100,000 households with children would see incomes reduced by up to £28 a week, leaving them struggling to pay for essentials such as food and heating.
Baroness Grey-Thompson, who led the research, warned the UK was at risk of reversing the “great steps” made by disabled people over the last 30 years and especially the Paralympics this summer.
Labour's Liam Byrne described the report as "another nail in the coffin" for the Government's claim that "we're all in this together".
But Work and Pensions Minister Lord Freud hit back this morning, telling Today the package was "one of the best things possible for people with disabilities".
"We’ve introduced transitional protections so that existing levels of support will be maintained in the cash sense for families with disabled children or who are disabled themselves. That will be maintained indefinitely on a cash basis...What we have got to do for the underlying system as it moves forward, however, and new people come into it, is we must make it simple and understandable.”