On Friday, I met with a number of organisations in Wolverhampton who are working extremely hard in the city with residents who have been detrimentally affected by the roll-out of Universal Credit.

I’m concerned about the things that I heard on Friday. Mainly, the unprecedented increase in the use of food banks, many families who have never had to ask for help for things like food and toiletries are now having to use these charitable organisations.

There are issues around vulnerable groups of people being isolated from being able to maintain their claims as Universal Credit is only maintainable online. Organisations in the city tell me that some residents who are elderly and who have disabilities are being isolated from the systems in which UC operate in.

There are also concerns that, because of the way that dates fall this financial year, it will be a 53-week rent year. This is going to leave many of the social housing tenants in Wolverhampton and across the country one week short of rent. The DWP have said they will not fund the extra week. This could leave many of my constituents in rent debt.

I’m calling on the Department of Work and Pensions to work through these issues and not leave some of the most vulnerable people in our society struggling even further because of the roll-out of Universal Credit.

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