Wales has become the first nation in the UK to complete rollout of Universal Credit.
Wales can now boast a significant milestone after becoming the first nation in the UK to complete the rollout of Universal Credit according to the Department for Work and Pensions.
The controversial welfare scheme was launched in the UK in 2013 by the then Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, with the aim to have one single benefit replacing six means-tested benefits.
Shotton became the first area in Wales to roll out the system with a limited pilot scheme launched in April 2014.
Beset with IT issues, rising costs and major delays critics including Citizens Advice said the new system left vulnerable claimants hundreds of pounds in debt and dependent on food banks due to a built-in delay which requires claimants to wait at least 42 days before receiving a benefit payment.
As of today, 11,000 people are now receiving Universal Credit in Wales with the final 7 jobcentres switching to the system for single jobseekers today.
New Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns;
“Welfare reform in Wales is transforming the lives of those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds for the better. Universal Credit is simplifying the tax and benefit system while supporting those on the lowest incomes.
Reforming welfare and supporting people back into work will help deliver a brighter future for people across Wales.”
Alun Cairns, MP for the Vale of Glamorgan was appointed as the new Welsh Secretary following Stephen Crabb’s promotion to work and pensions secretary after Iain Duncan Smith sensationally resigned on Friday.
Duncan Smith’s resignation has revealed a Government in disarray over their cruel cuts to support for disabled people says Mark Tami MP.
As opposition grows to these cuts, the MP for Alyn and Deeside is calling on residents to back a petition calling for a halt to the changes.
Mark Tami said:
“With 1246 people a month being helped by the Personal Independence payment in Alyn and Deeside, people here will be deeply worried about the impact of these changes by George Osborne.
“The people affected by these changes will lose out on an average of £3,500 per year; and at the same time the Tories are helping the wealthiest with a Capital Gains Tax cut.
“It just isn’t fair and that’s why I want people to sign Labour’s petition to stop these changes.”
Labour’s petition can be signed at: https://donation.labour.org.uk/page/content/pip
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