Monday, October 14, 2019

DWP ‘playing people for fools’ with ‘misleading’ Universal Credit ads

Work and Pensions Select Committee chair Frank Field MP has written to Universal Credit Programme Director Neil Couling, demanding an explanation of how “misleading advertising” is compatible with, and supportive of, the Government’s commitment to be transparent and honest with claimants and stakeholders over Universal Credit.

In a post shared on Twitter, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) claimed that Universal Credit “mirrors the world of work” by paying claimants monthly, but Mr Field has argued that not all low-paid workers are paid monthly.

The post also claimed that Universal Credit provides claimants with ongoing “flexible support” – a claim that Mr Field said doesn’t “reflect the reality of how people live, work, and budget”.

He accused the DWP of treating people like fools and called on the Department “to set about rebuilding trust in our benefits system”, instead of sharing misleading ads like these (see below) on social networks.

Frank Field said: “These so-called “facts” about Universal Credit are nothing of the kind. Large numbers of low-paid workers are not paid monthly. And no one has their wages paid to their partner.

“The only “mirror” here is the looking glass that Ministers and officials have surely stepped through, into Wonderland.

“They need urgently to set about rebuilding trust in our benefits system, by giving Universal Credit the flexibility it needs to reflect the reality of how people live, work, and budget – not playing them for fools with disingenuous ads like these.”

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