Sack The Tories protest, Downing Street, November 2017. Photo: Jim Aindow Sack The Tories protest, Downing Street, November 2017. Photo: Jim Aindow

The government has pushed the full roll-out of Universal Credit further down the road, but we must stop it altogether, argues John Rees

One of the great lies of current politics is that no one will be worse off under the new universal credit scheme.

The minister responsible, Esther McVile, has made this claim repeatedly. It has now been exposed beyond all doubt as completely untrue.

In fact, fully 40% of claimants will see £52 a week disappear from their already poverty income. Struggling homeowners, single parents and the disabled will be hardest hit.

That’s the harsh truth revealed in a new comprehensive study of Universal Credit. Even before its fully implemented nationwide next year, the number of people being pushed to the edge of destitution are staggering: 600,000 working single parents, 750,000 on disability benefits, and 1,000,000 homeowners now receiving tax credits.

Esther McVile has already been slapped down by the National Audit Office for lying to parliament about the effects of Universal Credit.

But she won’t worry. She’s MP for Tatton, one of the richest constituencies in the land. And if Parliament’s standards of truth prove too much she can always go back to being a director of daddy’s construction firm, J G McVey & Co. After all, the company specialises in demolition – exactly what McVile is doing to poor people’s lives.

And McVile is not a first time offender. She was an enthusiastic backer of the disgraced bedroom tax and claimed that the spread of food banks was a ‘positive’ development.

Universal credit is just one way in which the Tories are pushing welfare beyond breaking point. They are doing the same with the NHS, schools, local council services, and the rail system.

That’s why the People’s Assembly is launching is its new campaign: Britain is Broken: We Can’t Afford the Tories. Be part of it. Spread the news about the launch at the Trades Union Congress with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Faiza Sheheen from CLASS, Lindsey German from the People’s Assembly, with a special performance from Potent Whisper and an update from McDonalds, Uber and TGI Fridays strikers.

To keep updated on The People’s Assembly’s new campaign: Britain is Broken, We can’t afford the Tories please sign up for the People’s Assembly’s newsletter

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John Rees

John Rees is a writer, broadcaster and activist, and is one of the organisers of the People’s Assembly. His books include ‘The Algebra of Revolution’, ‘Imperialism and Resistance’, ‘Timelines, A Political History of the Modern World’, ‘The People Demand, A Short History of the Arab Revolutions’ (with Joseph Daher), ‘A People’s History of London’ (with Lindsey German) and The Leveller Revolution. He is co-founder of the Stop the War Coalition.