Wales could end Universal Credit devastation

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Plaid Cymru sets out plans to protect Wales from the worst of welfare reform

Wales could lead the way in protecting the most vulnerable people if it took control of the administration of Universal Credit, Plaid Cymru has said.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities Bethan Jenkins said that the poor design of the Universal Credit system causes additional problems for already vulnerable people.

She said that a Plaid Cymru Welsh Government would seek the devolution of welfare in order to make administrative changes to help minimise some of the problems such as changing the frequency of payments, ending the culture of sanctions, and ensuring payments are made to individuals and not households.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities Bethan Jenkins said:

“The Tories’ plans to impose a single Universal Credit payment are poorly structured and will cause additional unnecessary problems for people who are already in a vulnerable position.

“Under current plans, Universal Credit payments kick in after six weeks, a long delay that has led to around half of all local authority tenants falling behind on their rent. The Conservative government is also guilty of creating a culture of sanctions, and the number of sanctions imposed on people since 2012 has soared.

“The government’s insistence on paying the credit to households and not individuals is potentially devastating for some people. The heaviest bureaucratic burden will be forced on to people trapped in abusive relationships who have to negotiate exceptional status within the Universal Credit system. This is unforgivable.

“Were these powers over welfare devolved to the Welsh Government then we could protect these people. A Plaid Cymru government would seek to alter the frequency of payments, end the culture of sanctions and ensure payments are made to individuals and not households.”

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