Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to the Work and Pensions Committee report, said “This report reinforces what Labour has said since the beginning of this crisis: our social security system is not fit for purpose. Whilst it rightly praises the work of frontline staff, it tells a shameful story of people turning to DWP at a time of need and finding a complex system which can actually leave them worse off than when they started.
“The Secretary of State should listen to this cross-party appeal for an uplift in legacy benefits, suspension of no recourse to public funds and tailoring of disability assessments to people’s individual needs, all of which Labour called for at the beginning of the crisis. And if Universal Credit is as flexible as the Government claims, how can it not be adapted to convert advance repayments into grants? This Report must be treated as an urgent wake-up call to fix severe flaws in the system before people get pushed into irreversible hardship.”