Labour in bid to force release of Universal Credit impact assessment

Labour is to attempt to force the Government to publish its analysis of the impact of Universal Credit (UC) on people’s incomes.

The party will use an opposition day debate in the Commons on Wednesday to try to secure the release of the assessment drawn up by officials.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Margaret Greenwood said they would use the same procedural device they adopted last year to obtain the release of the Government’s Brexit impact assessment papers.

The move follows reports that Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey warned the Cabinet some claimants could be £200 a month worse off under UC.

On Tuesday, the BBC reported ministers were planning to further delay the full national roll-out of UC – which merges six benefits into one – amid concerns about the impact on low income families.

Labour is hoping to exploit worries among some Tory MPs to require ministers to set out their assessment of just how much people stand to lose.

Unlike most opposition day debates, the procedure being used means that the result will be binding on the Government if it is defeated.

Ms Greenwood said: “Universal Credit has pushed many families into poverty, debt and misery. Even Esther McVey has admitted that families will be worse off.

“The Government must come clean about its plans and make public what they know about the impact of the roll-out of Universal Credit on vulnerable people and families.”

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