‘Dehumanising’ benefits system must be reformed, says UNISON

Women, working families, disabled people and ethnic minorities are being penalised by unjust policies which undermine their financial independence and leave some destitute, says UNISON.

The union will today (Saturday) call on the Labour Party to campaign for a fair social security system that reverses cuts to work allowances and scraps the current two-child limit on benefits, including Universal Credit.

A UNISON motion to the party’s women’s conference, which is taking place in Liverpool, says measures are needed to reduce the burden faced by low-income households from property costs. These include security of tenure for new lettings, controls on future rent increases, and the building of 100,000 social rent homes a year.

The motion also calls for a scrapping of the so-called ‘rape clause’ in tax credit claims. This policy allows women to claim for a third child conceived through non-consensual sex or resulting from an abusive relationship. However, this forces women to relive their traumatic experiences causing them more distress, says UNISON.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Theresa May still talks about burning injustices. But the real unfairness is that the Conservatives still want to hit people on the lowest incomes.

“They have already cut support for the poorest, for children and for disabled people. These measures have also disproportionately hit women and those from ethnic minorities.

“Universal Credit has been an unmitigated disaster and dehumanises people. This is why we must campaign for a fair social security system.”

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk