PM is quizzed over Universal Credit '˜failings'

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden tackled the Prime Minister about problems with Universal Credit.

Thursday, 20th July 2017, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:29 pm
Gordon Marsden

He pressed Theresa May to make the telephone helpline free to help struggling claimants after charities said the benefit was failing.

He told her in Prime Minister’s Question Time that the system was letting down some of his most vulnerable constituents. The Gazette yesterday highlighted issues in Blackpool, with the Citizens’ Advice Bureau warning people were going without money for 10 weeks.

He asked: “Does the Prime Minister know that the Universal Credit process is failing my constituents.

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“The Salvation Army and Streetlife report that vulnerable Blackpool people are juggling a month’s money without help; that there are unfair sanctions for people with mental health issues; that a six-week wait for money is causing more stress; and that there is a phone helpline that Citizens’ Advice says can cost claimants 55p a minute and take 39 minutes to answer.”

Mrs May said the DWP was constantly monitoring the scheme.