Conservative MP Heidi Allen wept in a Commons debate after listening to Frank Field speak about the plight of universal credit claimants.
Field spoke about the cumulative effect on families of a succession of benefits cuts followed by being placed onto universal credit and of trying to persuade a claimant not to ‘top themselves’ because of the hopelessness of their situation.
He also talked about a family who last year had given toys to the MPs Christmas hamper’s project but have “so been reduced in circumstances that this year their little boy cries with hunger”.
A tearful Allen, who sits on the work and pensions committee with Field said that no benefits system was perfect but vowed that “By god we work together to make this better”.
However, whilst Allen was clearly moved by Field’s description of claimants and their families in dire circumstances, her voting record on theyworkforyou.com shows that Allen has generally voted in favour of cuts to benefits.
Allen voted in favour of freezing working age benefits and for cuts in housing benefit, tax credits, universal credit and ESA.`