Ex-Labour leader says Tory welfare scheme could push millions more into poverty
'Britain is on course for a summer of discontent and poll tax-style chaos unless Theresa May scraps plans for a full national rollout of universal credit next year, the former prime minister Gordon Brown is to say.
In a ferocious attack on the government’s flagship welfare reform, Brown predicts that a complex application process alongside Treasury spending cuts will plunge a million more children into poverty and increase reliance on food banks.
The former Labour leader, who sought to tackle poverty through the introduction of tax credits in the early 2000s, will say on Wednesday that the go
Speaking in Edinburgh, Brown will say: “Surely the greatest burning injustice of all is children having to go to school ill-clad and hungry. It is the poverty of the innocent – of children too young to know they are not to blame. But the Conservative government lit the torch of this burning injustice and they continue to fan the flames with their £3bn of cuts. A return to poll tax-style chaos in a summer of discontent lies ahead.”
Widespread rioting erupted on the streets in 1990 after Margaret Thatcher’s government replaced domestic rates with the community charge – or poll tax. Hostility to the change contributed to Thatcher’s toppling later that year, and the poll tax was then rapidly replaced by council tax.'
Read more: Halt universal credit or face summer of discontent, Gordon Brown tells PM