Jennie Pollock
We ask Rudd for more compassion around UC

"When I heard that Amber Rudd has replaced Esther McVey as Work & Pensions Secretary, I thought maybe it’s exactly right that Theresa May should pick an MP who can see the impact of welfare reform up close in her own constituency." Natalie Williams writes in the Huffington Post today.

Rudd is the MP for Hastings, whose foodbank has seen a staggering 87% rise in referrals since Universal Credit was rolled out in the town. And hunger isn't the only problem that is on the rise, the town has seen an increase in personal debt and homelessness in the same period.

"On the same day that the UN poverty envoy accused the British Government of outsourcing compassion, perhaps it’s entirely appropriate that an MP who cannot avoid the poverty on her doorstep has been given this job," Natalie writes.

I have met with Amber several times over the last few years to urge her to consider how Government policies are making people poorer. We have been grateful for the opportunity to have these honest discussions. Last time I saw her at a public event in September, she said to me: “The thing about you and me, Natalie, is that we have the same shared values: we may come about it in a different way, but we both genuinely want to help people.”

Amber now has a massive opportunity to demonstrate this. My primary hope for her tenure as Work & Pensions Secretary is that she will infuse compassion back into a system that has pushed it to one side. With every decision she makes about Universal Credit, I would urge her to ask: Is it based on truth? Is it helpful? Is it necessary? And, above all, is it kind?

We welcome Rudd's appointment to this role, and will continue to urge her to make the reforms we and other charities and frontline workers are calling for before UC is rolled out any further.

Read Natalie's full article on the Huffington Post website.

Image source: Amber Rudd website.