Eastbourne’s MP has called changes to Universal Credit announced in the Budget ‘just tinkering around the edges’.
While Stephen Lloyd welcomed news Philip Hammond yesterday (Wednesday) indicated he had listened to calls for a freeze on the duty paid on beer and fuel, he said the Chancellor’s changes to Universal Credit are ‘still not good enough’.
Mr Lloyd said, “There is some good news in this budget but a real fudge in other areas.
“I’m glad Mr Hammond has paid notice to areas I’ve been campaigning on, including recently delivering a letter to his Treasury calling for a freeze on Beer Duty, which will help local pubs.
“I am however disappointed the Chancellor has pinned his colours to pushing ahead with the roll-out of Universal Credit whilst tinkering around the edges.
“This was an opportunity for him to reinstate the money George Osborne gutted from the new system, but instead he shortened the six-week wait for first payment, to five weeks. Still not good enough.
“There was also no commitment to properly fund schools. I’m of the opinion that 5,000 Head Teachers can’t be wrong about the budget cuts their schools are facing, and I defy anyone to tell them they don’t know what’s going on in their own schools.
“There was also audible shock in the Chamber as he announced that the economic forecasts for the next five years have been slashed. It’s going to be bumpy for UKplc and this was certainly no game-changer of a budget!”