Council Supports Liberal Democrat Call to halt Universal Credit

Calderdale Council has backed the Liberal Democrat group’s call for the roll-out of Universal Credit to be halted until the many problems with the scheme are sorted out.

Cllr Pat Allen (Elland) placed a motion on the agenda of the Council Meeting (22nd November) setting out the problems that have dogged the scheme and calling for the government to suspend its roll out until these are sorted out.

Cllr Allen told the meeting that the introduction of Universal Credit has been a mess and was causing real hardship for her constituents. “I am spending more and more time trying to help local residents deal with their problems and going to court with them to try and prevent evictions. Some people are in dire situations” she said. “The numbers of people attending food banks is increasing and some are getting trapped in a vicious circle of debt and rent arrears.”

“Although the Chancellor has tried to alleviate the problems, the changes he announced don’t go far enough. The whole system needs to be looked at more fully” said Cllr Mrs Allen.                    

Speaking after the meeting, Liberal Democrat group leader, Cllr James Baker (Warley) said: “I am pleased that the Labour and Independent councillors supported Pat so that Calderdale Council has added its voice to the many organisations who are calling for a halt to the introduction of Universal Credit. However, some members of the Conservative group behaved appallingly. Only two of them took part in the debate while some chose not to pay attention to Pat’s heartfelt experiences of helping her constituents but instead sat around chatting and joking amongst themselves. This is not a laughing matter” said Cllr Baker.

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