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Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) general secretary Mark Serwotka called on the government to halt the roll out of Universal Credit during an interview on C4 Dispatches programme: Britain’s Benefit Crisis, last night.

The union which represents workers at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found in a recent survey that 70% of DWP staff want the roll out of Universal Credit to be stopped.

79% of those who responded said there was an insufficient amount of staff to cope with demand from claimants.

Mr Serwotka told the programme: “The government can give us soundbites and gimmicks but what these statistics tell us is that frontline workers who face-to-face deal with people; single parents, disabled people, people with mental health difficulties, people facing eviction from their houses, people who are desperate and going to foodbanks, they see the reality of this every day of the week.

“And I think it is a wakeup call and the government needs to massively increase the resource in the department for work and pensions, to give the public the welfare system that they deserve.”

Mark added: “The hardships benefit claimants are facing are truly shocking. The fact that many are having to resort to foodbanks and some are, as the Dispatches programme shows, even contemplating suicide, the government must stop the roll out.

“It cannot be right for the government to push ahead with Universal Credit roll out and ignore the overwhelming evidence in the Dispatches programme tonight.”

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