Tele column 21st December 2018

I recently used this column to highlight the many issues with Universal Credit (U.C.) and I make no apologies for returning to that topic again. And I shall continue to assert pressure on the Conservative and Unionist UK Government to halt the roll out and fix U.C. before it damages more households throughout the U.K. The lengthy delay in receiving your first payment and the issue around receiving your wages 4 weekly which means at least once a year you receive no U.C. payment as the system thinks you’ve had two wages in a month are just two fixable examples.

As a replacement for the current welfare system it is massively underfunded and contains serious logistical flaws that need fixed. I am raising a petition at Westminster to ensure that U.C. stays on the agenda. Obviously, the more publicity I can get the better for the cause but what I will not do is use a vulnerable individual or family who are already being punished by this system to get a front page story.

My office will continue to handle the growing number of U.C. cases that people bring to me. This is the single biggest issue, away from Brexit, which is affecting people in Inverclyde. The facts are that in Inverclyde we have over 4,000 people on U.C. with another 7,000 on legacy benefits and my office is receiving cases on a daily basis. Last week, I met with Citizens Advice Scotland to discuss the policy and the funding which is required to assist and support people in Inverclyde.

Finally, if you would like to add your name in support of the public petition then please visit my constituency office (20 Crawfurd Street, Greenock, PA15 1LJ) or contact my office on 01475 721 877 and we can send you out a copy of the petition.