Alan Hall, Chair, Unite the Union Community Greenwich, Lewisham and Bexley (GLaB) said:
“Universal Credit is creating a hostile environment for people who claim it and is not fit for purpose.
“Over one million low paid part-time workers will also be affected by Universal Credit and for the first time ever people in work could face being sanctioned (having their benefits stopped) if they don’t prove to the job centre that they’re searching for better paid work or more hours. This will affect our members in Greenwich, Lewisham & Bexley. We believe they deserve a pay rise and austerity has failed.
“Despite knowing that Universal Credit causes serious problems for those claiming it the government is ploughing ahead regardless while claimants are descending further into debt, relying on food banks and getting into rent arrears and in many cases are being evicted from their homes.
“In order to claim Universal Credit claimants need an internet connection which many simply can’t afford.
“Unite is demanding a cut in the long waits to receive money, for people to be able to apply in job centres, not just online, better help for people when the system fails, landlords to be paid directly to avoid people getting into rent arrears and losing their homes, an end to benefit sanctions for people in and out of work.”
Public service workers using foodbanks has been reported in the Financial Times here
A story on Lewisham and Universal Credit appeared in the local Newsshopper here: