Emma Reynolds, MP for Wolverhampton North East, has called on the government to pause the roll-out of Universal Credit. It is estimated that there will be around 16,500 Universal Credit Full Service claimants in Wolverhampton in the first year alone. An analysis by Citizens Advice in Wolverhampton has shown that the new benefit will push people further into debt and place an ever greater strain on local public services.

Research for the government has confirmed that 1 in 4 people applying for universal credit are being left without an income for over 6 weeks and that many people are also falling into rent arears as a result of problems with receiving the benefit in the areas where it has been rolled out.

Emma said “I am calling on the government to pause the roll-out of Universal Credit while the serious issues with it are addressed. Nobody should be forced to wait for as long as six weeks in order to have their claims processed. During these six weeks rent still needs paying, food still needs to be put on the table, and the heating bills still need to be paid.

“The government has its head in the sand about the mounting issues with Universal Credit. The benefits system is meant to protect people from debt and arrears, not exacerbate their situation. I have written to David Gauke, the Work and Pensions Secretary, to raise my concerns and to call on the government to postpone the introduction of Universal Credit, before people in Wolverhampton are made worse off.”

Have you, or anyone in your family been affected by Universal Credit or have any concerns about its planned roll-out? If so, Emma wants to hear from you. You can contact Emma at: emma.reynolds.mp@parliament.uk

November 2017