PCS responds to Labour’s Universal Credit announcement
PCS has long-standing policy, established at our annual conference, to scrap Universal Credit so we especially welcome the continued commitment by Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, to the scrapping of Universal Credit in favour of a fairer benefit system.
It was clear to our members that when the Tory government introduced easements to Universal Credit in response to the pandemic, such as the suspension of sanctions and the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit payments, many of the barriers that prevent meaningful engagement with claimants were no longer present. The job of supporting the unemployed, low paid and most vulnerable in society was made significantly easier enabling better outcomes for them.
We support the campaign for the continued £20 uplift in Universal Credit payments and would like to see this policy extended to all working age benefits. The removal of the uplift in October at the same time as the ending of furlough scheme has the potential to be disastrous, plunging millions of people into poverty.
The shadow minister praised the "tremendous efforts" of frontline staff to get claims processed during the pandemic. And while it is always good to hear statements of gratitude our DWP members, like the many essential workers across society that continued working throughout the pandemic, would also like to hear a commitment from the Labour party to reward frontline workers properly by backing PCS’ pay demands.