On Tuesday March 6th Debbie Abrahams, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, addressed Labour members and supporters at the Turks Head, in St Margaret's, to discuss her current role leading the fight against Government benefits cuts and its ill-conceived roll out of Universal Credit, which is leaving people without money for food or pay rent.
She spoke about the rising level of poverty in the UK, the increase of homlesssness, rough sleeping and high levels of personal debt. One million people on benefits were living in households where they were working, but not earning enough to be above the poverty line. In total there were eight million people living in the UK living in poverty. two million of which were disabled people. The number of food banks is growing while Britain is still the sixth richest Country in the world.
She noted that the Conservatives had cut the Social Security Budget by £34 billion and are promising to cut a further £12 billion.
Universal Credit was failing the people it was set up to help. She promised that a Labour Government would make it work. Keeping the universality, funding it properly and ensuring that left no-one in need was left without support.
Labour Campaigner in St Margaret's and North Twickenham, Rachel Evans, who organised the meeting said:
"Work and Pensions is one of the most important but poorly managed briefs in Government. Under Theresa May's watch, child poverty has risen, while 1 million people in the country rely on food banks and working families nationwide are struggling to make ends meet. Debbie Abrahams is at the forefront of leading Labour's fightback against the DWP's punitive benefits cuts. She has already forced the Government's hand on the roll-out of Universal Credit and is a powerful anti-austerity voice in the Shadow Cabinet.
Her role cuts to the core of the Labour Party's mission and there has never been a more critical time for her voice to be heard."