Thousands of people in Blackpool have already been moved to the controversial Universal Credit system, amid concerns over whether they will have less money as a result, new figures showed.
The new scheme, which rolls six different benefits into one, has been hit by delays ahead of a complete roll-out and was described by Labour as a “vehicle for cuts”.
Shadow Work and Pensions secretary Margaret Greenwood said that, nationally, 3.2 million families with children could lose £50 a week under Universal Credit.
She said the scheme “has been beset with flaws in its design and delivery”, and is “causing immense hardship for many people wherever it is rolled out”.
She added: “It is hard to believe now, but Universal Credit was designed to life people out of poverty and smooth the transition into work to ensure it always pays. The reality is that Universal Credit is a vehicle for cuts.”
The government’s Work and Pensions secretary, Esther McVey, said the roll-out would continue, and disabled households would be £110 better off.
She said: “We will make sure we get this benefit right. You know for why? Because the genuine concerns of the people on our backbenches want to get it right.”
Some 3,394 benefit claimaints in Blackpool had been moved onto Universal Credits by last month – though the number of people on it has dropped by 14 per cent since last September. Some 37 per cent were employed, the figures showed.
Nationally, more than 600,000 people – most out of work – are now on it.