Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey taunts Universal Credit Claimants with shameless plug for restaurant.

Just when you think Esther McVey couldn’t sink any lower, she does. After weeks of reports and evidence proving that Universal Credit claimants can’t afford basic food items, she does this…

Sunday 24th June started like a normal day for me. Breakfast just isn’t a meal that I can afford to budget for. I’m so used to not having it I don’t even notice, my boys have theirs so I’m happy.

I wasn’t online much, so it wasn’t until later I noticed that Esther McVey had sent at tweet out at 9.34am. Now Esther isn’t known for compassion or for being discreet but, after the news that Universal Credit is driving more and more people to foodbanks, her tweet really was just plain callous.

Not only can you see that she’s bragging about being able to eat out for breakfast, she’s absolutely shameless in plugging the establishment.

Her meal costs more than I spend in a week

Part of the menu the Cha Bar in Knutsford

Now, she’s bragging about “the big breakfast” that the Cha Bar in Knutsford sell. The cost of that particular meal is a staggering £8.50 but for just £1 you can add an glass of orange juice too!

My entire fortnightly food budget is about £10.50 (click here to see)and, many others on Universal Credit are in the same situation. How she has the gall to flaunt so openly I do not know.

The recent National Audit Office (NAO) report, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) destitution report and figures from national foodbank charity Trussell Trust, all cite that Universal Credit is causing foodbank use to sky rocket. Esther McVey’s decision to tweet this out can only be seen as one thing: She doesn’t care.

Fit to lead?

To me, this raises an important question. Should she be leading the government department that is responsible for the well-being of millions of vulnerable people? My answer would be no.

Just last Thursday 20th June, she made a statement to parliament were she attempted to spin the awful National Audit Office (NAO) report on the roll-out of Universal Credit, as proof that it’s all going well. When MPs pointed out that the report clearly shows it’s shambles, she just claimed they NAO had out of date information.

She repeatedly lied by saying that the report states the roll-out should be sped up when, in-fact it states the opposite; it should be halted immediately until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) resolve the numerous problems it already has.

Hostile towards the disabled

The DWP has now lost no less than two High Court cases regarding their welfare reform policies towards disabled claimants. The latest one states that they are discriminatory against disabled claimants. The court was told that Esther McVey intends to appeal the decision. Only could she appeal a decision calling them discriminatory. The United Nations UN have similarly called Universal Credit discriminatory but that was shrugged off with almost a laugh.

McVey has attempted to say that she dropped her appeal against Decembers High Court ruling as an act of compassion. The judges ruled that the assessment criteria for Personal Independent (PIP) claimants with mental health conditions were unfair and the DWP was told to back pay all claimants.

It’s now nearly July, and the first of 220,00 payments are still not expected until after summer, as I previously reported.

Should a woman so hostile to disabled people really be responsible for the support they receive? I think not.

My thoughts

All in all, it’been a car crash week for Esther McVey and the Department for Work and Pensions. Somehow undeterred they carry on as if nothing has happened. People are now waking up to the realisation that the Tories “flagship” welfare reform policies are not working.

Their position that Universal Credit is changing lives for the better is no longer sustainable, nor has it it been for a long time. The only difference now is, that people have seen proof of it’s hostile and harmful effects and are speaking out against it.

Like Iain Duncan Smith, Esther McVey is shamelessly pushing forward with the reforms without a care for anyone but herself. With tweets like those on Sunday I cannot see her being able to carry on for long.

Theresa May hasn’t spoken about any of the reports blasting benefits reforms and it makes you wonder how long she will put up with it until she acts. She is in a weak postition and the loss of another high profile cabinet memeber is something she can ill afford.

But, I’m sure I’d rather the bad press for sacking Esther McVey than anymore blood on my hands…

Alex @RespectIsVital

You can find me on Facebook by searching: Universal Credit Sufferer

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