Ahead of the Autumn Budget on Monday, John McDonnell has warned the Chancellor that if the government doesn’t halt the roll-out of Universal Credit, Labour will encourage other parties to vote down the budget.
Appearing on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the Shadow Chancellor said: “What we’re saying – and it’s not just me, it’s the National Audit Office, it’s large numbers of charitable organisations and others basically saying halt the roll-out of Universal Credit to stop these people being forced into poverty, halt the roll-out.
“And I’m saying to other political parties, if he doesn’t halt the roll-out of Universal Credit, we’ve got to vote this budget down. We’ve got to stop him forcing people into poverty in this way.
On Brexit, McDonnell told Sky News he was “really shocked” by the answers Philip Hammond had offered in an earlier interview, where he revealed a no-deal Brexit would mean a new budget.
“He’s gone back to what he said some time ago, which is basically he seems to have accepted a no-deal Brexit. He does want us to be like Singapore, a sort of tax haven, which will undermine our manufacturing base and I think put people’s living standards at risk. I was really shocked by the interview, really shocked.”
Labour has issued ten emergency demands for the Budget that would tackle the key failings of the flagship Tory benefit policy Universal Credit:
- Cut the five-week wait
- Remove the insistence on making and managing a claim online
- End counter-productive sanctions (e.g. requiring people to demonstrate in an online journal that they are spending 35 hours a week looking for work)
- Protect domestic abuse sufferers and allow families to split their UC payments
- Protect families from homelessness and give tenants the right to have their housing costs paid directly to their landlord
- Reverse cuts to disabled people
- Reverse the cuts to children: reinstate the family element and get rid of the two-child limit
- Support people on fluctuating incomes
- Restore work allowances
- End the freeze on social security
— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) October 28, 2018