Fleetwood MP speaks out after letter sent to Cabinet member warned Universal Credit rules left people feeling suicidal

Cat Smith Labour parliamentary candidate Lancaster and Fleetwood  2017
Cat Smith Labour parliamentary candidate Lancaster and Fleetwood 2017
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Fleetwood MP Cat Smith has expressed her dismay as she reveals that two people in one week alone came to her saying they wanted to take their own lives due to social security problems.

Ms Smith wrote to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd (inset), on Friday to tell her: “It is clear that the current system is not working at all.”

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd speaking from the back benches during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd speaking from the back benches during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

She wrote: “In 2019, as one of the richest societies in the world, people should not be coming to my advice surgery completely despondent and at the end of the line. It is not good enough.

“I would implore you to urgently address the fundamental flaws in the Universal Credit system.”

She told The Gazette: “What I’m seeing is a general trend towards people at their wits end, and it’s not just about Universal Credit, it’s about assessments and waiting times.

“I have recently seen people with long-term health conditions like cystic fibrosis, where obviously you are not going to get better, being asked to come back for work assessments.

“Also, there are people being found fit to work when they are clearly not, and appealing and winning, but in the months in between not having a penny coming into their household.

“I know people who are selIling their possessions in order to pay bills, people who have not had the heating on all winter.

“The knock-on effect is that they do get sick again. It also has a knock-on effect on their mental health.

“I have raised these issues in Parliament several times, but by publishing the letter I wanted to show my frustration with the system that is breaking.

“When I first got elected I thought things werebad, but now they have got worse. Kids are getting nothing and that’s their normal.”

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