Welfare Bill will push more families to food banks and payday lenders

The Bill has not been scrutinised – and UNISON will be campaigning to amend and oppose it

The second reading of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill did not get the media scrutiny it deserved. Instead, it was rushed through so MPs could go off on their long Summer break.

This is unfortunate and disappointing as the Bill will have a huge impact on already hard-pressed working families.

When George Osborne claimed that thanks to “difficult decision, Britain is now able to afford a pay rise”, he couldn’t be further from the truth. And the numbers don’t even add up.

Taking into account the new personal tax allowance, the proposed new National Living Wage and the new reduced threshold of tax credit entitlements, it turns out that low-paid workers will see their incomes fall.

For couples with one person earning the minimum wage with one or two children, their annual income is going to be cut by £1,000 at least.

Evidence shows that the Welfare Reform and Work Bill will only push more hard-working families closer to food banks and payday lenders. So how can ministers claim that work is a route out of poverty?

With this Bill, the government has set the country further away from the breaking the cycle of poverty pay.

UNISON will be campaigning and working with MPs and Lords to amend and oppose the Bill in the Autumn.