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The mental heath charity Mind has hit back at Esther McVey after she claimed that the charity supported the DWP's draft regulations for mass migration of claimants from ‘legacy’ benefits such as employment and support allowance (ESA) onto universal credit (UC).

Last week McVey told MPs, in relation to the extra money going into UC in the budget:

“The Child Poverty Action Group called this ‘unequivocally good news for families receiving universal credit’.

She added that:

“Other charities have been saying that the Department is now listening to what claimants, charities and MPs are saying. The Trussell Trust has said that. Gingerbread has said that. Mind has said that. Mencap has said that.”

However, Mind were clearly unimpressed with their name being used to support the DWP. They hit back on twitter, saying:

“Here’s what we said in response to the budget last week: If the government is really intent on prioritising the nation’s mental health, it needs to guarantee nobody with mental health problems will be left without their income as a result of moving to Universal Credit”

In a further tweet, Mind added:

And here’s what we said yesterday when the government published its updated plans for#universalcredit: These regulations have confirmed what we have long feared and argued against – that in the move over to Universal credit three million people, including hundreds of thousands of people with mental health problems, will be forced to make a new claim. This risks many being left without income and pushed into poverty.”

CPAG also criticised the new regulations, arguing:

“There is some good news in the revised regulations including the decision to give people a bit more time to claim universal credit but it’s really disappointing that the Government has rejected the argument made by so many organisations for moving people on existing benefits over to universal credit automatically.”

Gingerbread were also unhappy at being listed as supporters of McVey, tweeting:

“We were listed, among other charities including @Mind Charity and @TrussellTrust, by Esther McVey in her recent statement on Universal Credit.

“We want to be clear – we support changes to the system that benefit single parents, but this statement does not paint the full picture. We are not complacent and are clear these changes do not do enough to make the system work for single parents”.

The Trussell trust also responded, saying:

“Recent announcements are welcome, but only a start. Much more must still be done to ensure #universalcredit is preventing people from needing a foodbank, not pushing them to one.”

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