Jobless waiting up to six weeks for Universal Credit cash – MP

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A North-east MP has said serious concerns remain about the roll-out of Universal Credit.

Speaking in Parliament, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said he believes the initiative, which was introduced by his Conservative party, is working and can work.

He added: “The Universal Credit at Work report found that 71% of people claiming Universal Credit found work within the first nine months of their claim – a rate 8% higher than that for the comparable jobseeker’s allowance.

“However, there are genuine and serious concerns surrounding elements of the roll-out – specifically the six-week wait for the first payment and it would be entirely remiss of us to ignore those.”

Mr Bowie added: “The Government has been proactive in trying to find solutions for those of our constituents who need help the most or who cannot wait until the end of the six-week period as it stands now.”

Department of Work and Pensions Minister Damian Hinds said: “As Mr Bowie has reminded us, no one need go five or six weeks without money.

“People can get an advance payment of up to half of their indicative award, recouped over six months or in some cases longer.”