The Government’s refusal to pause controversial changes to benefits will cause people real difficulty.
I have raised concerns about the implementation of Universal Credit back in the summer, and called on Ministers to consider – at the very least – delaying the changes they are forcing through. My call was followed by similar requests from fellow Labour MPs, and last week a group of Conservative MPs also called on the Government to thing again.
The calls have been backed in Wrexham by a number of organisations who work with people who are likely to be affected by the changes, and I have met with several of these groups to hear their concerns.
However, with just days to go until the changes take place in Wrexham, Ministers confirmed at the Tory party conference today that they will be pressing ahead with Universal Credit – despite acknowledging that there are problems with the system.
There remains a great deal of very real concern among those Wrexham groups who provide advice and support that the Government’s Universal Credit changes will cause people real difficulty. I’ve met some of those groups to discuss their concerns, and I have also spoken directly with Department of Work and Pensions staff in Wrexham to discuss the changes too.
These changes will be taking place very soon indeed in Wrexham – literally a matter of days. Ministers are forcing their changes through, despite the advice of those on the front line and the requests of MPs from across the political spectrum.
I am concerned that there will be problems ahead – and that, by then, it will be too late.