BRADFORD South MP Judith Cummins has today taken part in a heated House of Commons debate where she slammed the Government's new welfare programme, Universal Credit, as "broken".

She said she joined the "growing chorus of criticism" against the continued roll out of the system.

The feature of the new Universal Credit system which has drawn the most stinging criticism is the one which requires claimants to wait six weeks before their first payment is received.

During her speech Mrs Cummins said: “During these six weeks, life does not stop, rent still needs paying, food still needs to be put on the table, and the heating bills still need to be paid.

“I am interested in making sure working people, right up and down this country, can enjoy dignity, fairness and stability in their lives.

“Without reform, Universal Credit promises quite the opposite. It creates instability, uncertainty and injustice."

The Labour Party manifesto published in the run-up to the recent General Election pledged to reform Universal Credit, and in particular to abolish the six week wait before payments kick-in.

Mrs Cummins' speech also highlighted the risk the new welfare programme poses to children.

"This headlong rush to roll-out Universal Credit will have dreadful consequences for this country’s children and young people. They will suffer the most," she said.

Citing research by The Child Poverty Action Group, a national campaign charity, she added: “This analysis reveals how working families will suffer: all families with children will be worse off by an average of £960 a year by 2020. And all single parent families are left worse off by £2,380 on average.

"The scale of child poverty in this country, one of the richest in the world, is appalling.

"One in four children grow up in poverty today. Twenty eight per cent, or nine children in every classroom of 30."

"In my own constituency of Bradford South, over 9,000 children live in poverty, a shocking 34 per cent of all children.

“I implore the Minister to listen, pause the roll-out, for the sake of the working families and the children of this country.”