Union tells of Falkirk hardship caused by Universal Credit

Unite the union campaigners against the controversial Universal Credit welfare system say they're shocked at the stories Falkirk area people have told them about its introduction.

In a recent Falkirk High Street exercise Unite members from Grangemouth, Falkirk Council, retired members and Falkirk Trades Union Council gathered names for a petition calling for an end to the scheme, and concluded: “Nobody had a good word to say about it”.

Unite official Mark Lyon said: “One man went for five weeks without money after being put on to the scheme and, although he is now working, is still having problems clearing up rent arrears that built up during that time.

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“A woman who is on benefits because of illness said she can’t sleep at night, worrying that a letter is going to drop through her letterbox telling her she is going to have to go on to Universal Credit.’

He added: “The government claims Universal Credit will make things better for claimants.

“But where it has been rolled out it’s been plagued with problems, pushing more people into poverty.

“It has caused tens of thousands to fall into debt, rent arrears and become reliant on food banks.

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“Despite all these flaws the Tory government continues to push ahead with rolling it out.

“Unite wants Universal Credit stopped and supports Labour’s calls for a root and branch review of the social security system.”

Unite is urging anyone having difficulty with Universal Credit to contact Turn2us (www.turn2us.org.uk) a national charity that helps people gain access to welfare benefits and support service, and to email their MP.