Voice of the Mirror – Stop Benefits hell before it pushes families over the edge

Our story this week about how despairing dad Dean Lovell-Payne tried to kill himself while on the phone to the DWP is another distressing example of how Universal Credit strips people of dignity and hope.

Chronic delays in paying benefits which claimants are legally entitled to inflict terrible misery on families who do not have substantial money in the bank.

The former ambulance worker is perhaps an extreme case, but his tale will strike a chord in many homes where people feel persecuted.

Universal Credit is not the flexible system it was sold as by the Conservatives.

It either needs to be fundamentally reformed to produce quicker decisions and treat those in and out of work with respect, or replaced with something fair and decent.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd’s honeyed words are not good enough.

We need action.

Track and ruin

IT is time to halt the great train robbery when passengers on squeezed incomes will struggle to pay 3.2% fare rises to use overcrowded, often late services.

Privatisation has proved an expensive disaster for travellers and taxpayers alike, which is why restoring public ownership would be hugely popular.

We deserve a railway operating in the public interest, not the interests of the fat controllers, who include firms owned by foreign states.

British Rail was never perfect but it was better value for money than this Tory shambles overseen by Chris “Failing” Grayling, possibly the worst ever Transport Secretary.

Put it back in public hands and let’s create a modern, efficient, affordable rail network owned and controlled by Great Britain.

A good gig

DOES the £38.9million earned on his world tour so far by Ed Sheeran put him in The A Team?

With money like that, he can afford a Lego House and a Castle On The Hill, too.

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