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Lib Dems call for benefits freeze to be scrapped immediately

October 10, 2017 11:36 AM

The Liberal Democrats have called for the benefits freeze to be scrapped, in a debate in Parliament on Universal Credit.

It comes as a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found almost half a million more people would be forced into poverty in the UK in 2020 if the government maintains its freeze on benefits.

Stephen Lloyd MP, Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesman, commented:

"Balancing the books on the backs of the poorest in this way is unacceptable. Not only are those on benefits seeing their incomes eaten away by rising inflation, but many families are suffering as the flawed Universal Credit roll-out leaves them out of pocket for weeks on end.

Rent arrears and indebtedness are soaring wherever Universal Credit is introduced. That is why even John Major and dozens of backbench Conservatives have called for a pause and review of the system. Unless this Government decides to change course and listen to those on the sharp end of their policies, millions of people - including young children - will see their life prospects permanently damaged.

With Labour silent on this issue, only the Liberal Democrats are committed to ending the freeze on working-age benefits and ensuring that incomes keep up with the soaring cost of living."

Locally Councillor Inga Lockington added "As there is clear evidence in the areas of the Country where Universal Benefits has been rolled out that it often leaves residents (who are entitled to receive these benefits) in debt, it needs to be stopped and rethought. Ministers who think that claimants can go for up to six weeks without receiving benefit forget that the reason why they are entitled to the benefit is because they do not have the money in the first place nor a Bank Account set aside to dip in to while waiting for their benefits."

Cllr Inga Lockington