Benefits wait may be eased
MINISTERS are ready to reduce the waiting time for Universal Credit (UC) payments from six weeks, following an outcry from Tory MPs, rebel Tory MPs believe.
One of those who threatened to rebel over the roll-out of the flagship benefit reform, Stephen McPartland, said he believed the critics were “very, very close to getting a resolution” on the issue.
Some have warned that as the roll-out of UC gathers pace, the six-week wait is contributing to rising debt, rent arrears and evictions.
Theresa May avoided a Tory revolt on the issue in a House of Commons vote on Wednesday after making a concession by committing to scrap charges of up to 55p a minute to call a UC helpline, and ordering her party to abstain on a non-binding Labour motion calling for the reform to be paused.
Mr McPartland said Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke was finding it increasingly hard to justify the sixweek wait.
The Stevenage MP told BBC Radio 4’s Week In Westminster: “I think we are very, very close to getting a resolution.”