The Tories are creating ‘state sponsored destitution’ [NO SH*T SHERLOCK] by only paying half of emergency benefit claims, Labour MP warns
The Department for Work and Pensions have created a ‘gaping hole’ in the social security safety net and are denying people ‘lifeline’ payments, he claims
More than half of people who reached out for “lifeline” emergency benefit payments were rejected leaving them in “state sponsored destitution,” a Labour MP warned. Frank Field has warned that the rejections show a “gaping hole” in the welfare system and could be forcing people waiting for their first payment of in work benefits deeper into poverty.
Government figures show that 200,000 applications were made for advances on working age benefits in 2016, the latest year for which figures are available. But only around 100,000 advances were paid to claimants, according to Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) statistics.
In October, Theresa May refused to back a call by Labour to ditch the six week waiting period for Universal Credit – which rolls six benefits into one payment – because the problem would be solved with “fast tracked” advances.
But Mr Field, who chairs parliament’s Work and Pensions select committee, said that the benefit delays “revealed a gaping hole in the country’s safety net”.
He added: “Nearly 200,000 people reached out for the lifeline of emergency payments in 2016, yet the DWP has only a vague idea of how many managed successfully to do so.
“What of the tens of thousands of people not captured by these data? Were they the latest victims of state-sponsored destitution?”
Ministers have fought off criticism over delays in paying people Universal Credit by saying claimants can apply for an advance. The 2016 figures cover working age benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support.
The figures obtained by Mr Field through a written parliamentary question show there were 197,514 applications for advances, and 98,633 people were paid.
“Data is also not available for unsuccessful applications and the difference between ‘received’ and ‘awarded’ applications in the table above does not equate to unsuccessful applications,” minister Alok Sharma said in response to Mr Field’s question.
“This is because there are a large proportion of applications in which the primary benefit is paid, which negates the need for a short term benefit advance.”
A DWP spokeswoman added: “We are not aware of anyone not getting an advance on their benefit when they need one, and we signpost people who need extra help to other support.” WHAT SIGNPOST IS THAT! GET TO THE FOODBANK AND THE STREET!!!!!