In the first debate of Women’s Conference 2020, speaker after speaker condemned changes to the benefits system and its devastating impact on low paid women and called for the scrapping of Universal Credit.
Scotland’s Katrina Murray, speaking for the UNISON National Women’s Committee, moved the motion, appropriately entitled, “Women on the Cliff Edge,” because that is exactly how women who rely on Universal Credit are left.
Katrina told delegates that Universal Credit is having a real impact on our members.
“The impacts of four week payroll cycles, early pay because of Christmas, changes of circumstances or union negotiated pay rises can mean that Universal Credit payments are reduced or removed, causing real hardship,” slammed Katrina.
“Universal Credit makes at least 50% of those who rely on it worse off. That is unacceptable.”
Speaker after speaker spoke of their own experiences and those of their members, many of whom have had to go without food to make sure their children eat, others who have to rely on food banks to feed themselves and their children.
The National Women’s Committee, alongside regional women’s committees will work to develop a body of evidence to show how our low paid women members are being adversely affected by Universal Credit and will lobby for a benefits system which enables women to work without being financially disadvantaged.
By Kate Ramsden