New rules being brought in as part of this government's new Universal Credit system mean that benefit claimants will have to wait at least five weeks before receiving any monies have alarmed Labour' Parliamentary Candidate for Berwick Scott Dickinson.
The Universal Credit scheme which is being rolled out nationally to all claimants by 2017 brings together the six existing benefits including income Job Seekers Allowance, income related Employment and Support Allowance, and Housing Benefit.
In a report published in July by the TUC, Universal Credit: the problem of delay in benefit payment shows that under new rules, on top of the previously announced seven-day waiting period before an individual can claim - for which no benefits will be received - there will also be a wait of one calendar month before the claim is assessed.
Scott Dickinson said "This delay will affect disabled people and the seriously Ill, as well as recently unemployed claimants and it would seem to few people know about this change. It is clear to me that this government deliberately want to delay payments which will lead new claimants being distracted by money worries from looking for work, driven into the hands of payday lenders and forced to turn to food banks. It's a disgrace that some people who have contributed all their lives will be made to wait five weeks before receiving any help which demonstrates yet again the attack on ordinary people. The Bedroom Tax showed how out of touch this government are but yet again they touch the lives of ordinary people by attacking our welfare"
The TUC has launched a Saving Our Safety Net campaign, highlighting the extent to which safety net protections are being undermined by government welfare reforms.
Labour Research News - August 2014