Opinion: We must stop Universal Credit madness

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 October 2017

From left, Romford MP Andrew Rosindell, Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Dockerill and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture Hayley Anderson

From left, Romford MP Andrew Rosindell, Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Dockerill and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture Hayley Anderson


Benefit claimants are facing New Year hell as Universal Credit rolls out in our community. More than 20,000 people in my constituency of Rainham, South Hornchurch, Elm Park and Dagenham face, literally, being without any cash.

That’s because this Tory government has introduced a grotesque system that pays out the new benefit a minimum of six weeks in arrears – in some cases 12.

That’s two or three months without cash for thousands of families, plunging residents into abject poverty.

The BBC has reported 84per cent of Universal Credit claimants are in rent arrears.

The Trussell Trust says foodbank referrals have gone through the roof, with one 67pc up. Yet the Tory government insists on continuing the next roll-out to job centres across the UK – while blithely suggesting people take out loans or go begging to their landlords.

The roll-out locally – March in Havering – could scarcely come at a worse time with so many people cashless after Christmas. Payday loan sharks must be rubbing their hands

in glee.

That’s why I joined my Labour colleagues in bringing a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday calling for an urgent halt to the roll-out.

The government faced a potentially humiliating defeat with even some of its own MPs voting with Labour.

So instead of letting democracy have its day, they ordered their MPs not to take part in the vote. Like a bunch of stroppy schoolchildren, they picked up their goal posts and took them home.

But this is serious. This is the biggest issue of the day – bigger even than Brexit for millions of working families and jobseekers in England.

The Tories have shown utter contempt for our democracy. But I promise you this: we are not going to let them get away with this. We have to stop this vindictive madness.

Latest Romford Stories

59 minutes ago

Long-serving goalkeeper Sam Mott has left Hornchurch and joined Bostik South outfit Ashford United for the 2018/19 season.


Ramesh Gunalan hit a stunning century to help Old Brentwoods to a convincing win over West Essex in Shepherd Neame Essex League Division Three.


Reignings champions The Hunter Hurricanes started the Windmill Whack season where they left off, picking up a win over the Chairman’s Choice to get the competition underway.

59 minutes ago

The second Romford Film Festival will officially open and showcase the best independently made films at Premiere Cinema in Romford this Thursday, May 24.


National League outfit on the lookout for a new manager after John Still left last week


Everyone Active Raiders have been accepted to run a second team in the National League South Two after officials from member clubs and the LMC met this weekend in Sheffield and Newbury to agree the format of competition for NIHL in season 2018/19.


Hutton came out on top in their Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One date with Hainault & Clayhall.


A Romford man charged with the murder of 85-year-old Rosina (Rose) Coleman appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Monday, May 21.


The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now