When launching a new or revision of benefit it is usual practice to do this, initially, via a pilot where any problems can be noticed and sorted before an enlarged rollout. It is my understanding that such a pilot was under took for Universal Credit and with the degree of current problems should not been subject to the larger rollout until the problems had been sorted. To reduce the intendant rollout should never have been considered, let alone allowed to occur. To many if not all of the claimants the benefits they receive are their only sources of income and they should not be expected to exist on no income for any period of time, let alone 6 weeks.
This is gross incompetence on behalf DWP and to say they are working with local authorities to provide extra support at a time when the Government is drastically cutting local authority funding is adding insult to injury. DWP have for some many years proved they and their processes are ‘not fit for purpose’.
Thousands of benefit claimants are facing debt, rent arrears and eviction as a result of policy design flaws in universal credit, according to landlords and politicians, who are demanding an overhaul of the system.
They have warned that UC rules that require claimants to wait at least six weeks for a first benefit payment mean many are going without basic living essentials, forcing them to turn to food banks and loan sharks.
Ministers are being urged to slow down the national rollout and to increase support for vulnerable claimants who are struggling to cope with the demands of monthly payments and an increasingly online-only system.
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