Margaret Greenwood, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has said that the Government needs to do more to tackle the problems being faced with claiming universal credit. Over 500,000 people have claimed universal credit since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis and the Department for Work and Pensions has said that thousands of civil servants have been transferred to deal with the applications. Answering questions from the Work and Pensions Select Committee, the Secretary of State, Therese Coffey (pictured above) said that this an “unprecedented moment”.
“Unprecedented numbers of working people are having to access the social security system for the very first time because of the health emergency. Not only is there chaos as they seek to secure support, they will be shocked at the low level of payments. It is vital that people get the support that they need in the face of this crisis.”
Therese Coffey said that over 100,000 applications were processed in one day and added:
“We don’t know if they’re self-employed or at different stages, and I want to assure people that help, even if it’s not currently the level of help they would like, is there to help them through the safety net of the welfare state.”