GARY Neville has delivered a scathing response to Edwina Currie after the former Tory minister described Universal Credit (UC) as “paying people to stay home”.

The former Manchester United defender was speaking on Good Morning Britain with Currie after she defended the cut to UC which comes into effect today.

Currie claimed keeping the UC uplift wasn't logical. “It doesn’t make any kind of sense to pay people to stay home,” Currie said.

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Host Susanna Reid cut in to state that 40% of those on UC are in work.

“But the majority of people on Universal Credit don't have a job,” Currie replied. “We are talking about a very large number of people.

“One of the things the Government is doing is helping those people, actually putting more money into supporting and tutoring and mentoring people to get back into work, sometimes to get a job for the first time. That can be difficult we recognise that.

“Sometimes to make better choices about how they live and how they spend their money ... The best benefit is a job.”

Neville hit out at the claim, calling it “really dangerous” and adding the decision to remove the UC uplift is “brutal”.

Neville said: “The first thing that Edwina said was that I’m okay here and we’re okay here which is the first thing a Conservative person does and a Conservative MP, they look after themselves.

“The next thing she said was ‘go and get a job’. ‘Get back to work you lazy sods’, ‘get off your backsides’, ‘stop watching Good Morning Britain and other television programmes and go and get a job’. That’s what she said.

“It’s the way in which this sort of language appears from Conservative ministers for so long. You know, immigrants are all taking our jobs, homeless people are all beggars on the streets - they’re basically alienating people.

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“They really want a good job,” he said. “They really want to get good pay, they really want their mental health to be sorted and they’re not there sitting thinking I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, I’m going to ‘I’m going to take the Chancellor’s money and live off their money for the next 15 years and do nothing’.

“To me, the language is always divisive, it’s not helpful, it’s something to be fair we’ve seen for over 10 years and from previous Tory governments.

“It’s really dangerous. We are one team in this country, we are one group of people.

“Honestly to remove Universal Credit payments at this time moment in time is brutal. Let’s be clear, it’s brutal.”