During Department of Work and Pensions Questions on Monday David Morris MP asked the Minister about access to advanced payments whilst Universal Credit applications are being processed.
David Morris MP asked :
What estimate he has made of the number of claimants applying for universal credit advance payments?
The Minister for Employment responded:
The answer is about half. We are working to further improve awareness and access to this support.
David Morris further asked:
I am keen to ensure that advance payments are made to my constituents in need, which is why I see the jobcentre and the citizens advice bureau, one after the other, every month. Does the Minister agree that the Labour party should start acting responsibly and join me in encouraging constituents to apply for this additional help, and tone down the political rhetoric, which could deter vulnerable people from applying in the first place?
Minister for Employment Damian Hinds MP said:
I do. My hon. Friend knows, and the Labour party should acknowledge, that no one need go without money while they wait for their first regular payment. Labour should not try to put people off accessing the support that is there for them.
Speaking after the debate David Morris MP said:
I want to make sure that all constituents who are newly claiming Universal Credit are aware of the transitional advanced payments that are available to them. We have had the full roll out of Universal Credit since April 2016, and Constituents have been accessing the advanced payments ,but following politicisation of this issue some 18 months after roll out in our area it has come to my attention that some people have been put off accessing the help available to them by the rhetoric of the opposition.
I would urge any new claimants in the area to contact the Job Centre as I know from my regular visits that the staff are committed to ensuring that claimants are supported through any issues and are given the correct assistance.