Universal Credit puts 'too much pressure' on vulnerable people, says Mind CEO

Amber Rudd

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Universal Credit has put "too much pressure" on vulnerable people, according to the CEO of the mental health charity Mind.

Appearing on the weekend breakfast show with Penny Smith, Paul Farmer claimed people with disabilities and mental health issues have had to do "too much for themselves" under the controversial benefits system.

"It put too much pressure on people who were already vulnerable and it asked them to do too much for themselves without having the right levels of help and support," Mr Farmer said.



The charity chief executive said he supported Amber Rudd's decision to halt a further roll-out of Universal Credit, and instead transfer 10,000 claimants to a new pilot scheme.

"In the latest round, what the government has been trying to do is pick up those people on existing benefits, which are a lot of people with mental health problems and a number with quite severe disabilities, people who are very vulnerable. and put into a plan for how this group should be taken across to the new system," Mr Farmer said.


Amber Rudd 'quite sensibly' opted for a pilot

"Amber Rudd has decided - quite sensibly in our view - rather than take everyone onto this system in one go, she's going to do a pilot to see if it can actually be done correctly with less damage to those who are at their most vulnerable."

Mr Farmer added that a lot of people he worked with through his charity had had a negative experience with the benefits system.



"A lot of people we work with say the benefits system doesn't work very well for them because they have to constantly go and tell their story all over again, and that's often very difficult for people," he said.

"Their experience of the state, who are often the ony people there to really support them, has reduced quite significantly in recent years."