‘I am scared, more and more scared’

“I am scared, more and more scared,” said Falkirk’s Priscilla Maramba, made redundant from the job she loves from 1 April and faced with the universal credit. “Universal credit? Universal harm,” she said.

“How many more jobs are going to be lost?” asked Ms Maramba, a single mother with three children.

To a standing ovation she told UNISON’s women’s conference, “I never thought I would be involved in politics but now I am because I want to get this government out – not by the door but through the window.”

Conference debated the government’s cuts to benefits. Sheila Spooner, a workers at a mental health day centre from Leeds, reported that since 2010 her department had lost 12.5% of the workforce – that was stressful for her and her colleagues.

But she also reported that the “changes to benefits were bringing so many difficulties” to the clients she worked with.

Delegates voted to campaign against the cuts to benefits.