DWP slammed for “shambolic” Universal Credit roll-out

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MP demands figures on how many people are being put on Universal Credit in error 

18th January 2017 by Robert Armour 7 Comments

An MP has blamed the DWP for creating homelessness over its “incompetent” processing of Universal Credit claims.

It emerged last week in a Glasgow City Council report into the impact the scheme was having on its services that homeless people in the city has been placed on the new scheme in error by the DWP.

Now Alison Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central, is demanding answers from the DWP as to how many more homeless people across the UK have been placed on the controversial scheme in error.

The report, published by the Glasgow City Joint Integration Board, found that 73 homeless people have been put on Universal Credit, despite DWP guidance instructing homeless people being exempt from the new scheme. 

As revealed by TFN, the error has cost the council £144,000 so far, a situation Trewlis said   demonstrated the “devastating impact on the city’s homelessness services,” which are already  facing a £4 million shortfall due to Universal Credit.

Thewliss questioned ministers in the Department for Communities and Local Government in the House of Commons on Monday regarding the Government’s handling of the scheme and the financial difficulties it places on homelessness services across the UK.

She has since tabled further questions to find out how many other homeless people across the UK have been placed on Universal Credit in error.

Alison Thewliss

Alison Thewliss

Thewliss said: “The experience of the 73 homeless claimants in Glasgow, who have been added to Universal Credit in error, show that homelessness services across the UK are likely to take a serious financial hit once Universal Credit is fully rolled out.

“The suggestion from the Minister that Discretionary Housing Payment is used to top this up completely misses the point. With local authorities forced to cover the arrears of their tenants, which means less money to provide vital services which people rely on in times of need.

“The UK government needs to wake up to the reality that DWP actions are cutting the safety net of Council homelessness services, deeply undermining their stated aim of helping people into work.

“They can take the first step to head off this problem by halting the deeply flawed implementation of Universal Credit.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Welfare reform has already had a significant impact on our budget for homelessness services.

"The introduction of universal credit is placing further pressure on homelessness budgets and it is anticipated that delivery of these services will become increasingly challenging.

“We will continue to seek ways to mitigate the impact of these changes so we continue to operate an effective service for those affected by homelessness.”

19th January 2017 by Sarah taylor

I have lost my home due to universal credit as couldnt afford all my monthly cost of a home and afford to eat i was going days with out eating and was getting in more dept having to lend i am now still on this benefit and have severe depression and have no home i am currently sofa surfing at friends and my sisters when i can due to rules i will get sanctioned if i stay at one place for more than one night i never had a great life to start with and both my parent are deceased so cant even turn to them i am so low and alone because when i say this to them they send me to acumen and i have to go on courses now even though doctor has put me on sick and it is a struggle to get up everyday and i dont know where to turn because alot of people dont understand the new benifit

19th January 2017 by Miss Angela P Barratt

At last someone is awake this benefit system is causing family breakdown /homelessness and deaths.

20th January 2017 by b a

Wholee thing badly designed

20th January 2017 by John mckerrell

I have just finished a 79 day sanction for not handing in a cv when I had a sick note explaining that I had depression problems I have had just over 500 hundred in nearly a year from dwp. I have just been placed on another 50 day sanction because I never attend an appointment 2 days after my girlfriend just lost our first baby the new universal credits is a joke I have recently tryed taking my own life as I can't live they way they are make you live a have to eat from foodbankschool for 50 days now it's really a joke the government shouldn't be allowed to get away with this nonsense I have also lost my home and have to sleep between family and friends it's just so wrong that the government can do this they are horrible people and don't know how they can sleep at night

22nd January 2017 by Jim

Our local authority have been banned from contacting the Universal Credit support team as adequate levels of communication would show more support is required by LAs and that would cost the DWP money.15 weeks is the "record" so far for someone to recieve their first payment. We only have a small number of cases as we are not digital. Its a complete farce. It does not help long/medium term unemployed get or keep jobs. Those you have uc and got a job would have done so anyway. They want to put Housing Benefit staff out of work when they have been the best at keeping people housed and rent arrears down allowing people to get on with finding work. Wake up government! Its not a numbers game its people's lives and you are destroying them with this floored system. If another minister says it mirrors working life why dont they try not being paid for two months?!

22nd January 2017 by Maxwell benjamin

the departement for work and pension and the minister of education and health must be abolished and form one departement togather becose they based on division war and hatered we need one departement of love peace and unity

23rd January 2017 by Angela Spokes

This system is barely half finished but due to pressures on DWP staff it is being rolled out despite clearly not functioning properly. I am sure it will be no consolation to anybody made homeless or worse by this benefit.... but Universal Credit is killing DWP staff too.