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Watch: Conservative Party conference: Therese Coffey under fire for singing 'Time of My Life' as Universal Credit uplift ends
The work and pensions secretary seemed to be enjoying herself as she stood on stage with welfare minister Will Quince at around 1am during the annual Conservative Party conference.
Her singalong was filmed just an hour after the £20-a-week cut came into action, as 5.8 million people on the benefits scheme will be hit.
The uplift was introduced to help ease financial concerns for those on Universal Credit throughout the pandemic, but the government now believes removing it will incentivise people to get back to work.
However, the reduction has been described as the “biggest overnight cut to benefits in history” by independent think tank Resolution Foundation.
People weren’t exactly delighted to see the Cabinet minister singing on the very day the cuts came into action.
DWP Secretary Therese Coffey singing ‘I’m having the time of my life’ at Tory conference just an hour after the £20 Universal Cut came into force. pic.twitter.com/lspuFKGs4Q
— John Johnston (@johnjohnstonmi) October 6, 2021
Jonathan Reynolds, shadow minister, told Sky News: “The secretary of state singing that she is having ‘the time of her life’ while making families £1,000 a year worse off today is frankly an insult and a disgrace.
“It is not too late for the government to reverse this disastrous decision, support struggling families and cancel this cut.”
Fellow Labour MP Zarah Sultana tweeted that Coffey’s behaviour was “disgusting” while Labour’s Nadia Whittome tweeted: “Do you know who aren’t having the time of their lives? The six million low income families whose Universal Credit she’s just cut by £1,000.”
Labour also planned to drive a van around the Tory conference venue in Manchester at the time of prime minister Boris Johnson’s keynote speech with the words: “Cancel the cut.”
While 6 million families went to bed last night in fear of the £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit, @ThereseCoffey, the woman overseeing the cut, was out singing "I've had the time of my life" at the Conservative Party conference. Disgusting.pic.twitter.com/t1lQhYX0ad
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) October 6, 2021
“And I owe it all to you” being a very apt line for the Work and Pensions Secretary to belt out last night when she owes millions of Universal Credit claimants an explanation for going ahead with a devastating benefit cut today. https://t.co/lwsgWKP1iI
— Liam O'Dell (@LiamODellUK) October 6, 2021
It regularly disgusts me that Thèrése Coffey is my local MP. This is a perfect summary of the Tory party: just an hour after the £20 uplift to Universal Credit was cut, here is Coffey, singing 'I'm having the time of my life.' https://t.co/cO6RvynDvd
— Karl Knights (@Inadarkwood) October 6, 2021
Last night Work & Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey was partying at Tory Party Conference, belting out "I've had the time of my life".
Do you know who aren't having the time of their lives?
The six million low income families whose Universal Credit she's just cut by £1,000.
— Nadia Whittome MP (@NadiaWhittomeMP) October 6, 2021
'That song, on that stage, at this point, with that job? I honestly can't begin to make sense of it.'
James O'Brien reacts to Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey singing 'Time of My Life' as she cut Universal Credit by £20-a-week.@mrjamesobpic.twitter.com/iBXTJAYfpj
— LBC (@LBC) October 6, 2021
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.