Labour MP, Frank Field has said: “Delays in governmet’s flagship welfare reform has caused debt, rent arrears and health problems”.
The labour MP also said “the minimum six-week payment period faced by new Universal Credit claimants led to reliance on emergency food parcels, triggered debt and rent arrears, and caused health problems”.
Field wrote this to the work and pensions secretary, Damian Green, asking him to cut the lengthy and stressful wait for payments faced by penniless claimants:
“This is an unbelievably long time for people at the bottom to survive with no money, and I have received evidence to suggest people have been exposed to hunger and homelessness during this 42-day period.”
According to a DWP spokesman:
“Universal credit is designed to mirror the world of work and give people control over their own finances.
“The vast majority of UC claimants are confident in managing their money and we provide budgeting support as well as benefit advances for people waiting for their first payment.”
Although, in the past, the DWP has argued that a 42-day wait is fair because people who lose their jobs can look forward to a final month’s salary, however Frank Field said “research by House of Commons library showed 40% of claimants did not get a month’s salary when they left employment”, according to the Guardian.
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