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The problem with Universal Credit isn’t the phone lines—it’s the whole cruel system

Theresa May has u-turned on far smaller policy issues and after much less pressure. It's time to scrap this one, too—before even more people suffer

By Dawn Foster  

Rent must be paid—so electricity, food and transport are often the first to go. Photo: PA

A few years ago, I learnt to visit nearby coffee shops before visiting interview subjects about benefits. After twice meeting people mortally embarrassed that they couldn’t offer tea or coffee, because they were struggling to afford electricity, I started calling them to offer to collect a drink for them. Now, with Universal Credit delays, I’ve learnt to pick up sandwiches too.

The delays built into Universal Credit are extreme: no one I’ve spoken to has…

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