The Prime Minister last week (18/10/17) confirmed today that all charges to the Universal Credit helpline will be ended and that the helpline will be a Freephone number. About time, too. The decision to charge the poorest of the poor up to 55p per minute shows what an ugly mind set exists in the Department of Work and Pensions and amongst those Ministers responsible, including those who defended this nasty, mean spirited charge as recently as last week.
Yet the government presses on regardless with the roll out of Universal Credit in spite of all the evidence that exists to show hardship being caused, and the rising level of arrears.
It won’t be long before the government will have to climb down, but the longer they persist and defend this policy, the more humiliating the climb down will be, and Mrs May’s government, as with Mrs Thatcher and the Poll Tax, might leave the climb down too late.
I have posted a Vlog on the politics of Universal Credit (posted before the decision to introduce a Freephone was announced).