Last month, Amber Rudd -Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, made a statement on Universal Credit. Here is the response from the Joint Public Issues Team representing four mainstream churches, including the Methodist Church:
"I cannot remember when a statement was so welcome, so infuriating and so inadequate all at the same time. Before Monday the Government's stock answer on foodbanks was that the reasons for foodbank use were "complex" so it was unfair to blame Universal Credit. The new answer appears to be that Universal Credit "could" be to blame...
However since before 2013 the Department for Work and Pensions has repeatedly denied that Universal Credit (or Welfare Reform more generally) causes hunger and foodbank use. Government attacked organisations that said UC caused hunger and called journalists who reported the link "reckless" because they were needlessly frightening claimants. It seems likely that this will now stop and that can only be a good thing.
What strikes me is how inadequate both the statement and the policy response are."
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