Firstly, I did not vote for the PM’s deal: Well over 2000 constituents have written to me and I am sorry if this is a disappointment to you, but bear with me and please let me explain. I did not vote for the PM’s deal because I do not believe it was in the best interests of the people of Canterbury, Whitstable, the local villages or for the UK as a whole.
I do not believe that any Government should take a decision that, when confronted with the evidence, would be wilfully choosing to make its people poorer. That is why in the EU referendum, I voted for the remain option. This is a decision I would still take given what we now know.
As you know, UC is a single payment which will replace six means-tested benefits and tax credits for working-age individuals and families. It is the Government’s flagship welfare reform and I am concerned that it has been plagued by problems in its design and delivery. I agree that the rollout should be stopped.
UC was designed to lift people out of poverty and smooth the transition into work to ensure that it always pays. However, the reality is that UC has acted as a vehicle for cuts and caused real hardship for many people across the UK.