MP joins call to halt Universal Credit rollout

MP joins call to halt Universal Credit rollout”

Work and Pensions secretary David Gauke has rejected calls for a pause in the introduction of Universal Credit and said the rollout will continue as planned.

However, Scottish ministers have complained that people who are moved onto full service have to wait six weeks before receiving their first payment.

Mr Gauke said that ministers would introduce the system gradually and amend details as they learnt from experience.

"The Universal Credit pilots have also highlighted problems with monthly payments, removing landlord direct payments and making a single household payment".

In response to the criticism, Mr Gauke said: "I am refreshing the guidance to DWP staff to ensure that anyone who needs an advance payment will be offered it up-front". Citizens Advice Bureau says universal credit is "failing too many people and forcing many into debt".

He said: "I wasn't involved in the creation of Universal Credit and I am not someone whose political reputation is tied up with Universal Credit", said Mr Gauke. They will receive this advance within five working days. "And if someone is in immediate need, then we fast-track the payment, meaning they will receive it on the same day", said Gauke.

"It's working", David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, declared to the Conservative party conference on Monday, in doing so disregarding a huge weight of evidence to the contrary, and confounding the massed ranks of critics in and outside of the party who are calling for an urgent pause and reset of this chronically troubled benefit system. The in-built six-week wait for the first payment - which is often even longer - is unacceptable and pushing people into crisis and rent arrears, having to rely on food banks and emergency payments to get by. It said in a report, "Delivering on Universal Credit" that the requirement to wait six weeks for any payment means people face serious financial insecurity, with many being forced into debt.

The advance payment is automatically taken out of any subsequent Universal Credit payment over a number of months until the total amount is paid off. So, I can confirm that the rollout will continue, and to the planned timetable. "As Conservatives we believe in a strong and compassionate welfare state that helps everyone fulfil their potential", he added.

Ministers were instructing JobCentre staff to point people proactively to available loan arrangements, he said.

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