Inverclyde has had full service Universal Credit for over 2 years now while at the same time it has lost one of its jobcentres in Port Glasgow. The House of Commons Library highlights that 4,810 households in Inverclyde currently claim Universal Credit and there are still 7,250 on legacy benefits.
My constituency office has dealt with hundreds of welfare cases and the vast majority of these are in-relation to Universal Credit. Some of the stories that constituents have told me regarding their Universal Credit claim are scandalous and highlight the many flaws in the current system which need addressing quickly. For example, the length in delay of receiving your first payment, or the issue of receiving your wages 4 weekly which means at least once a year you receive no Universal Credit payment as the system thinks you’ve had two wages in a month.
The Trussell Trust tell me that in Inverclyde between 1st April 2018 and 30th September 2018 in Inverclyde, 3,013 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis. Meanwhile welfare spending on poor people dropped by 25% during the decade of austerity, cuts to benefits that disabled people receive were significant.
It’s time the UK Government listened to the concerns being raised by constituents, charities and local organisations who are saying the current Universal Credit provision is not fit for purpose and it needs fixed.
Therefore, I hope people in Inverclyde will sign the public petition, which is available in my constituency office, as this will allow me to take it to Westminster and demonstrate the strength of feeling against the UK Government policy.