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John McDonnell urges Tory MPs to vote down Budget if Philip Hammond fails to halt universal credit rollout


John McDonnell has urged Conservative MPs to hitch Labour in voting down the Finances if the chancellor fails to halt the highly-contentious rollout of universal credit.

The shadow chancellor’s name on the eve of the Finances comes after calls for from charities and cross-party MPs, together with over a dozen Tories, for Philip Hammond to commit more money in the direction of the federal government’s flagship welfare programme.

Mr McDonnell additionally accused the federal government of displaying “callous complacency” over common credit score after repeated recommendations that low-income households are being pushed into debt.

“I’m saying to different political events that if he doesn’t halt the rollout of common credit score we’ve bought to vote this Finances down,” he instructed Sky Information’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday. “We’ve bought to cease him forcing individuals into poverty on this method.”

Mr McDonnell’s intervention got here as Mr Hammond additionally hinted tomorrow’s Finances would comprise further money for common credit score, and admitted there had been “teething points” with the brand new system on the BBC’s Andrew Marr present.

“My aspiration could be to attempt to easy this course of,” he stated. “The place we see points that want addressing we are going to tackle them”.

Mr Hammond’s colleague, Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, additionally echoed him feedback, including the Treasury is “listening very colleagues to what our colleagues should say”, including: “We wish this method to work.”

However requested whether or not individuals could be worse off below common credit score – a declare made by the cupboard minister accountable for the rollout, Esther McVey – the chancellor replied: “I hope not”.

Rebels within the Conservatives, together with one of many architects of the coverage, Iain Duncan Smith, have beforehand stated the Treasury ought to reverse the cuts his predecessor George Osborne and commit £2bn to guard the toughest hit teams.

The Commons Work and Pensions Committee has additionally stated the federal government’s plan to place 4 million extra individuals on the profit have to be halted with out adjustments to forestall “unmanageable debt”.

In a highly-critical report – printed on Sunday – MPs on the committee warned the help provided to claimants transferring from the legacy advantages system to common credit score was “woefully insufficient” and risked undermining the entire mission.

Talking earlier this month, John Main, the previous prime minister,  warned Theresa Could she might face a backlash over common credit score much like that skilled by Margaret Thatcher with the doomed ballot tax.


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