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MPs have voted 299 to 0 for Labour’s motion to ‘pause and fix’ Universal Credit before further roll out after the majority of Conservative MPs decided to abstain and some voted with Labour.
John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, said: “If you choose not to take part and vote you can’t say, ‘well we didn’t lose’. A minister from the government should come to the House and show respect to the institution and say what it intends to do. This institution is bigger than any one party and is bigger than any government.”
This was after PMQs today when Theresa May was forced to confirm the the 55 pence per minute charge on the Universal Credit Help Line would be scrapped.
Universal credit combines six working age benefits into a single payment, is designed to make the system simpler and ensures no one would be better off claiming benefits than working.
However it has faced a rebellion from two dozen Conservative MPs, who fear payment delays of up to 6 weeks in arrears risk pushing families into destitution.
Landlords have also been very critical that it does not separate Housing Benefit payments and relys on tenants knowing how to manage their finances.
In a recent NLA survey they found just two in 10 landlords say they are willing to let to tenants in receipt of housing benefit or universal credit.
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