by Felicity Collier
TORY benefit changes being rolled out between now and 2022 are forcing people into Dickensian poverty, Labour MP Catherine McKinnell warned yesterday.
The Newcastle North MP said there are “clear failings in the system need to be put right” — including landing people in rent arrears.
Speaking in Westminster Hall, Ms McKinnell said she had been “deluged with complaints” about the new universal credit, including payments being made monthly in arrears.
She said: “People risk debt and eviction while they wait — which surely belongs to world of Charles Dickens, not 21st-century Britain.
“It makes ‘just about managing’ seem like an aspiration.”
Universal credit replaces jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, working tax credits, housing benefits and childcare credit.
The Department for Work and Pensions originally claimed that three million households would gain up to £200 a year.