“When families apply for Universal Credit, they have to wait six weeks before they first receive any help. That means anyone who applies for the first time this week won’t receive any help until after Christmas..." Cllr Megan Swift
Labour councillors Megan Swift and Dot Foster have presented a petition to Holly Lynch MP calling on the Government to pause the roll out of Universal Credit.
Cllr Megan Swift, who is the Council’s lead member for children, says that she is particularly concerned about the impact of Universal Credit on families with young children.
She says, “When families apply for Universal Credit, they have to wait six weeks before they first receive any help. That means anyone who applies for the first time this week won’t receive any help until after Christmas.
“In many cases, it’s worse than that, as the Government department responsible is not always meeting the six week timescale, so some families are left struggling for longer.
“Universal Credit replaces six other benefits, many of which are designed to help people who are in low-paid work. It’s clear that it is not working as planned – it’s putting people into debt, and in some cases forcing them to use food banks to cope. That’s why we are backing Labour’s campaign calling on the Government to suspend the introduction of Universal Credit until they get it right.”
Holly Lynch added: “We are getting dozens of calls to my office from people who are struggling as a result of being moved to Universal Credit. I hope that the Chancellor will announce a radical rethink in the budget – not just tinkering at the edges to try and look good, but something that will make a real difference.”