Tory MP warned his staunch support for Universal Credit could lose him Southport. 

Over 2,000 Southport households are already on Universal Credit. Over 7,000 more will by hit by the next stage of rollout in the town.

Southport MP Damien Moore is one of 84 Tory politicians whose majority in their constituency is significantly smaller than the number of people being moved over to the failing Universal Credit system it’s been revealed.

Well over 2,000 households in the town have already been transferred to the discredited system since it was introduced last year, causing huge distress for some. The next phase of its rollout is expected to affect over three times as many residents though and bring more severe problems.

Southport MP Damien Moore

Despite widespread warnings of the suffering Universal Credit causes from organisations such as The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest foodbank network, Damien Moore warmly welcomed it to the town. The Tory MP, whose majority is less than 3,000, has been a staunch defender of the heavily criticised operation, 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. “

Across the country, however, lengthy delays in payment and significant financial losses are being reported with many claiming that the system is simply unfit for purpose and is unfairly penalising those already struggling.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey recently announced at the Conservative Party Conference that reports of benefit cuts were “fake news” but it was then quickly revealed that struggling homeowners, families and the disabled could lose up to £2,400 a year on Universal Credit.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, IPSE, has also warned that those working for themselves face losing as much as £3,000 a year.

By the time the next phase of implementation is complete, it’s estimated around 9,500 Southport households will have been moved over to the new scheme, potentially posing a serious threat to the small majority held by the town’s Tory MP.

Liz Savage, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Southport, thinks he should be worried:

“It’s no surprise that this government has been thrown into disarray over Universal Credit. The Conservatives can’t cause this much suffering and not expect a backlash.

“ Damien Moore completely backed this deeply flawed system despite all the warnings and has completely failed to look after those constituents caught up in this. Once again he’s proved he’s a Tory “yes” man rather than an MP who will stand up for local residents. “

” We are getting desperate calls from local people terrified that they are going to lose their home and people who are already ill or disabled being worried sick as they face losing a significant part of their income. “

” It’s not just Universal Credit, the PIP assessment process is a scandal too. We used to look after people but under the Tories, we now simply bully them into submission. Altogether it is little more than yet another hostile environment created by the Conservatives. “

Moving nearly three million people from the ‘old-style’ benefits and onto Universal Credit is widely predicted to result in large numbers of low-income and vulnerable households temporarily or even permanently losing much of their income.

The transfer to the new system so far has been followed by a 52% rise in demand for food banks. Across the North West, the Tories have already hit 76,445 young people with Universal Credit sanctions – 65% of them land on people under 30.

Lia Savage says that the scheme must be halted:

” The Tories must listen to us; the Trussell Trust and the many, many thousands of people suffering as a result of the Conservatives putting their ideology before the circumstances of individuals. The Tories must halt their failed implementation of this scheme. “

” Damien Moore may well come to rue the day he simply said “yes” once again and didn’t stop to listen to the warnings or to think about those in the town affected by this cruel system. ”