Put “shambolic” Universal Credit on hold
Liberal Democrat South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called for the government to pause the roll out of Universal Credit.
According to the Government’s own published figures, currently 1 in 4 people on Universal Credit are being left without income for over 6 weeks.
Analysis from South Lakes Citizens Advice suggests 6000 families in Westmorland and Lonsdale will be receiving Universal Credit by 2022.
In a letter written to the DWP secretary David Gauke, Tim has asked for the roll-out of Universal Credit to be put on hold until the following problems are addressed:
– No one is left to wait longer than 6 weeks for an income.
– Those who need it get a payment within 2 weeks, which does not need to be paid back.
– Claimants are able to access a minimum standard of support to help adaptation to the Universal Credit system.
– That staff who handle Universal Credit helpline calls are fully trained in all aspects of its workings and are able to provide correct guidance to claimants
Tim said: “I’m hugely concerned that Universal Credit is pushing people further into debt and putting an even greater strain on public services.
“People I meet at my surgeries are in increasingly desperate situations – they need the government to listen.
“The fact that around one in 10 people on Universal Credit are having to wait over 10 weeks to receive their income is absolutely shambolic.
“The government must put these plans on hold until they have their own house properly in order because the situation at the moment is simply not good enough.”