Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey’s claim today that reports of vicious Tory welfare cuts are “fake news” has been blasted by Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley.
Ms Rowley (Lab) said: “Esther McVey has the cheek to accuse others of spreading fake news when she herself was ordered to apologise to MPs for making misleading statements on Universal Credit.
“But I’ve got news for Esther McVey. She can try to discredit well-respected organisations and charities, as well as the people suffering on Universal Credit, all of whom are telling the truth about the human cost of these changes. But the finger of blame points straight back to her department.
“The ongoing rollout of UC is damaging communities across the UK, yet the Tories’ cold-blooded attitude means important lessons about its shortcomings are not being learned. Not content with creating a hostile environment for migrants, the DWP has created a hostile environment for those who find themselves in poverty.
“We do not need tinkering with a broken policy. We need real change under a Labour Government to ensure our welfare system works for the many not the few.”
South Scotland MSP and Shadow Social Security Secretary, Michelle Ballantyne, slammed the Labour MP’s “narrative of fear”.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented: “The fact of the matter is that proportion of UK Government spending on social security is the same now as it was in 2010.
“This narrative fear being propagated by Labour will do nothing to help those who need it. The rollout of Universal Credit is a big undertaking so obviously it will have its roadblocks.
“Multiple charities and organisations have accepted the premise of Universal Credit. Currently it’s working for 85% of people.
“Ms Rowley should get on the side of the people to make sure that we make it work for everyone.
“After the disaster of Labour’s legacy policy which trapped people in a cycle of benefits, it’s ironic that Labour are now accusing us of having a system that doesn’t work. This Conservative Government has seen the lowest levels of unemployment in over two decades and helping thousands out of poverty by making work pay.
“In the last couple of weeks, this Conservative Government has banned tip deductions, investigated greater transparency on parental pay and made it easier for parents and carers to work flexible hours.”