Tuesday, 12 December 2017

CALL TO HALT CONTROVERSIAL BENEFIT PAYMENT

'This is not how a civilised society should be run'

Wrexham Councillors are being urged to back calls to pause the controversial Universal Credit benefit payments amid concerns that delays are causing huge hardships for thousands of people.

Universal Credit is being rolled out in the borough despite evidence that delays of up to 10 weeks are causing problems and the threat of eviction for many claimants.

It's estimated that there are up to 7,000 people who will receive Universal Credit in Wrexham.

Now Plaid Cymru's group of councillors is putting forward a motion before the full council tomorrow calling for the new system to be paused to ensure that nobody faces eviction or hardship due to administrative changes.

Cllr Carrie Harper, who represents Queensway ward, said:

"Charities and campaign groups have described the new system as chaotic and disastrous.
"The feedback we're getting from those trying to adminster the new system as well as those at the sharp end is that it's going to cause real hardship in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.
"It's clear that it's been introduced by the UK Tory Government without a real understanding of its impact on people's daily lives. Under pressure, it's introducing a five-week wait after Christmas but that's only a minor improvement. Expecting people to wait so long for a benefit to kick in is asking for trouble and we're concerned that it will be hard-pressed councils that are expected to pick up the pieces. Local organisations are already reporting a large increase in the number of food bank vouchers being handed out to bridge the gap. This is not how a civilised society should be run."

The motion to council reads as follows:'We call on the UK Government to pause the roll out of Universal Credit in order to address the substantial concerns expressed by charities, the Third Sector and others about its implementation and excessive payment delays.'

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