Southport MP asked “what are you hiding?” after voting to keep Universal Credit report from public.

Southport’s Conservative MP Damien Moore has been slammed for helping conceal government analysis of the impact of Universal Credit from the general public.

The Tory politician voted with the government last night to refuse to release the report on the effects of the highly criticised system in the town and across the country. He has been a strong backer of Univeral Credit claiming:

” The Government have purposefully managed a careful and controlled Universal Credit roll-out… Universal Credit is simple and fair and will be effective for the whole country. ”

Labour had sought that the impact analysis report was released to the public so that the full picture surrounding Universal Credit could emerge but the Conservatives and allies in the DUP voted it down by 299 to 279.

Liz Savage, Labour’s Southport Parliamentary Candidate.

The Southport MP’s decision was attacked by his opponent Liz Savage, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the town:

” It’s very strange that such a staunch supporter of Universal Credit is voting to conceal the impact of it from the general public. Damien has claimed it is simple and fair so what exactly has he and the government got to hide? ”

” There is nothing to justify hiding these reports from the public. Damien and his colleagues have chosen the coward’s way out because Conservative implementation of this system has been shambolic, cruel and unjust. It will be Southport families and residents that suffer as a result. ”

Over 2,000 households in Southport have been moved over to Universal Credit, with another 7,110 penciled in for the next stage of rollout.

The Conservative’s implementation of the new scheme has been heavily slated with widespread reports of severe hardship being caused by delays in payment running into months, benefit cuts and excessive sanctions. Foodbank use has shot up by 52% in areas where it has been introduced.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey recently called reports of benefit cuts “fake news” but it was quickly revealed that some working families and the disabled could lose as much as £2,400 a year, while those self-employed could lose £3,000. Labour’s Shadow Secretary Margaret Greenwood says 3.2 million families face losing £200 a month and the system was “beset with flaws (and) causing immense hardship”.

Labour’s Southport candidate, Liz Savage, says it’s a “craven” decision to hide the facts from the public:

” The Conservatives have underfunded Universal Credit from the start and are imposing severe sanctions on others while they try to hide their hamfisted handling and the overall impact of it from the public. ”

” They might want to put the report on a shelf to collect dust but the effects and distress will be all too easy to see in Southport and beyond if the next stage of rollout goes ahead. They are simply penalising hard-working families, the disabled and others. “

” They must listen to us and the likes of The Trussell Trust to stop the rollout and fix and fund the system properly. Damien Moore would do better to stop craven hiding like this from his constituents and start fighting for them. ”