Cutting universal credit an ‘unnecessarily evil’, warns Boris Johnson’s former homeless adviser

£20-per-week deduction universal credit There will be a “needless evil” that will lead to increased dependence on food banks this winter, boris johnsonA former homeless consultant has warned.

talking to independent, dame Lewis Casey It claimed ministers were stuck in an “ideological gap” over the decision to remove the levy of benefit payments introduced at the start of the pandemic.

The crossbench colleague, who has advised five prime ministers, insisted she was “so disappointed” in both. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, and Mr Johnson after an agreement to end the emergency escalation – valued at around £1,000 a year.

“I really think it’s an unnecessary evil that they are doing, if they do,” she said. “It’s unnecessary, really unnecessary.”

Dame Lewis, who was No. 10 last year. appeared on covid The briefing also said the pandemic’s effects on some of Britain’s poorest families were “exponential” and stressed that the public was sympathetic to keep uplifting.

The intervention comes amid growing unease among Tory backbenchers over the cut and stern warnings from anti-poverty groups that millions of families could be left with less than half of the income needed for an acceptable standard of living.

Just last week the influential Northern research group – representing nearly 50 Conservative lawmakers – Told independent that universal debt regeneration was a “life saver” and urged the government to keep it in place.

Six former work and pensions secretaries across the party’s ranks, including Ian Duncan Smith, also wrote to the chancellor last month opposing the cuts and calling for the rise to be “on a permanent level”.

But speaking at a committee last week, Cabinet Minister Therese Coffey Confirmed £20-per-week emergency payments will be “phased out”, claimants reported before October that they would see “adjustments” in payments.

Dame Lewis, whose most recent government job was chairing the Rough Sleeping Taskforce during the early months of the Covid-19 crisis, stressed the immediate repercussions of removing the extra pay “will be people who already have something to live for”. Neither is. will be even less”.

“We will have another winter of increased use of foodbanks, increased use of handouts – in the fifth or sixth highly developed country in the world we are counting on relief for our citizens,” she said.

The former adviser, who was also director general of the Troubled Families Program under David Cameron between 2011 and 2015, said: “I’m just so disappointed in the government. There are good people in this government, and it’s a very disappointing thing for them to do.”

I am disappointed with the Chancellor and disappointed with the Prime Minister. They both talk about One Nation Conservative and if you don’t care for those who have nothing, you are not One Nation Conservative.

Branding the decision as “short-term thinking”, she continued: “We’ve got a massive rebuilding to come out of this pandemic and we’re not through the pandemic yet. Unless we need to rebuild the economy. No, we have to look at one of the biggest, biggest issues facing all of us, which is getting old. We’ve got a welfare state based on post-war Britain, not 21st century. “

Before coming under pressure from the chancellor – in March’s budget announcing a six-month extension to Uplift – Dame Lewis outlined her opposition to scrapping Uplift in the first one BBC interviews, suggesting that people would see conservatives as a “bad party” if they did.


We will have another winter of increased use of foodbanks, increased use of handouts – in the fifth or sixth highly developed country in the world we are counting on relief for our citizens”

Dame Louise Casey

When asked what message the government would give to the country if the uplift was removed in autumn, he reiterated the point. independent: “I think it’s a message that they’re ready to be bad again and it’s really terrible in a country that’s trying to pull together because of the pandemic, we go back to being the bad party.” are ready for. That’s what tells me.”

Pointing to data from the Department of Work and Pensions that the number of people claiming universal loans has doubled from pre-pandemic levels, Dame Lewis also said the coming winter could be “worse” than the last. can.

“If everyone thought last winter was hard on poor people, think again,” she warned. “Everyone will think that we are back to normal. We haven’t returned to normalcy in a world of poverty, we’ve doubled the number of people in that group, we have a year of homeschooling and kids sharing a phone to do.

“The effects of the pandemic on those who are disadvantaged and exponential and who are not going to change this winter. What will change, I worry, there is a tough stand within the government on these issues. “

Dame Lewis added. “Everyone has been affected by the pandemic, some in bloody boats sailing into the sunset and some on rafts that have sunk. We all know that the pandemic has affected people more than others. This will be a reset opportunity for the government and that is what they are missing. “

Speaking last week, Ms Coffey told lawmakers that the regeneration would be lifted in the autumn, adding: “A collective decision was made that as we see the economy open up, we will be able to bring people to work and jobs.” To focus strongly.”

Mr Johnson said as the UK lifted COVID-19 restrictions, “the emphasis has been on getting people to work and getting people to work”.

“If you’re going to choose between more welfare or better, higher-paying jobs, I’d go for better, higher-paying jobs.”

Asked if he would review the cuts before September, the prime minister replied: “Of course I keep everything under constant review, but I have given you very clear instructions about my tendency.”

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