AS OF TODAY, ten thousand people on the old benefits system will be forced onto Universal Credit (UC) in a ‘pilot study’ in Harrogate, after Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, rushed a law through the House of Commons on Monday night.
MPs did not even get a chance to vote on whether or not to approve it, as it was fast-tracked using an obscure emergency law to drive it through before Theresa May’s rule officially comes to an end later today.
MPs were up in arms at the move with Labour MP for Wirral West, Margaret Greenwood telling the House of Commons on Monday evening: ‘In March, the Secretary of State shockingly announced her intention to pilot managed migration (onto Universal Credit) even before she had secured approval from Parliament.
‘Now she has left it to the eleventh hour to bring these regulations to Parliament. Managed migration is deeply controversial.
‘Understandably, the plans were met with outrage from many sections of society: how could a government visit such a plan on the people?
‘It really is important for these important regulations to be debated on the Floor of the House.
‘Can the Secretary of State therefore guarantee today that the regulations will be debated in full, and voted on in the House? To do any less would be an absolute disgrace.’
Rudd would not, instead saying only the results of the ‘pilot,’ once completed would be debated.
She said: ‘I know that somebody – hopefully me – will have the opportunity to come back next year and report on the outcome from this managed migration pilot.’
She then announced an obscure procedure to push her ‘pilot’ through called a ‘negative resolution’.
She said: ‘Getting support for this measure is incredibly important, which is why we are proceeding by negative resolution. We are doing that – to answer one of the Honourable Lady’s questions – because that was the advice we received from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.’
Rudd also confirmed that 13,000 severely disabled people would finally get access today to hundreds of pounds of cash they are owed.
They will get an extra £405 per month as part of a £600 million package, which will be backdated to when they were first pushed onto UC, which rolls six benefits into one, and is a severe cut in the overall amount of money received.
Those being paid are people who moved from a benefit called Severe Disability Premium to UC – which means they lose out on huge sums of money.
The Department for Work and Pensions agreed to the back payments after a High Court ruling found two disabled men had been discriminated against.