Universal credit helpline charges scrapped

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Media caption ‘It’s a lot of weeks to wait’

People will be able to call the government’s universal credit helpline without being billed, within weeks.

Perfect Minister Theresa May said the girl had listened to criticism of the fees, which can be up to 55p a minute, plus decided it was “right” to drop all of them.

But the girl again rejected calls by Work leader Jeremy Corbyn to “pause” the roll-out of the controversial advantage amid fears it is causing difficulty.

In a symbolic election, MPs backed a pause right after Tory MPs were told in order to abstain.

The resistance won by 299 votes in order to 0 with one Conservative : Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston — defying her party by going with Labour.

The end result is not binding on the government even though Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn mentioned ministers must “act on the obviously expressed will of Parliament” plus halt its roll out.

Commons Speaker John Bercow advised ministers to take account from the vote and “show respect for your institution” by indicating what they meant to do.

‘Simpler system’

Common credit, which rolls six working-age benefits into a single payment, is designed to associated with system simpler and ensure no-one deals with a situation where they would be better away claiming benefits than working.

But it has faced the backlash from Tory MPs, whom fear payment delays risk pressing families into destitution.

Explaining her decision to digital rebel, Dr Wollaston said the length of time individuals were waiting to be paid – most of the time more than six weeks – was a “fundamental flaw” that must be addressed.

She told the BBC the girl wanted to “see a much stronger commitment” from government “that they’ll accomplish that immediately”.

At Excellent Minister’s Questions earlier, Mr Corbyn said he was glad the particular PM had “bowed to Work pressure” by scrapping the servicenummer charges.

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Media caption Speaker: Avoid pretend you didn’t lose

Yet he added: “The fundamental troubles of universal credit remain : the six week wait, increasing indebtedness, rent arrears and evictions.

“Will the top minister now pause universal credit score and fix the problems before pushing ahead with the roll-out? ”

Mrs May prompted regards from Labour MPs as the girl began her reply with “yes”, before urging them to “listen towards the whole sentence I was going to make”.

She said common credit was “a simpler system”, that “encourages people to get into the particular workplace – it is a system which is working because more people are entering into work”.

The general credit hotline will become free to make use of “over the next month”, the government reports, and that would be followed by all DWP helplines by the end of the year.

The government says much more no money from the 0345 number. It really is charged at local rate and it is included as a free call in numerous landline and mobile phone packages yet can cost some mobile phone users just as much as 55p a minute.

Universal Credit has been introduced within stages to different groups of claimants in the last four years, with about 610, 000 people now receiving this.

Almost 1 / 4 of all claimants have had to wait a lot more than six weeks to receive their first transaction in full because of errors and complications evidencing claims.

But the government recently approved a significant extension of the programme to a additional 45 job centres across the country, along with another 50 to be added every month.

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Media caption The PM appears to provide a surprising initial answer when questioned to pause the national rollout of universal credit.

Labour’s Honest Field told MPs a meals bank in his Birkenhead constituency required to order five tonnes of extra foods to deal with hardship caused by the roll-out of universal credit over Xmas.

He asked Function and Pensions Secretary David Gauke if his constituents should disregard the food bank’s warnings, or provide extra donations as a result of the minister’s “inability to deliver a scheme that will works”.

‘Pious loan shark’

Mister Gauke had earlier accused Work of attempting to wreck the new advantage rather than taking a constructive approach to changing it.

The SNP’s Mhairi Black said the provide of advance payments made issues worse for some claimants because they needed to be paid back.

She offender the government of acting like a “pious loan shark – except that will instead of coming through your front door these are coming after your mental wellness, your physical well-being, your balance, your sense of security. inch

The Department regarding Work and Pensions says the latest data, from last 30 days, indicates 81% of new claimants had been paid in full and on time in late their first assessment while 89% received some payment.

BBC Newsnight’s political editor Computer chip Watt said he understood ministers were giving “serious thought” in order to cutting the initial waiting period designed for payments from six to 4 weeks around the time of next month’s Spending budget.

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