MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, Luke Graham, spent a day last week in the Alloa job centre to see first-hand the impact of the Government’s welfare reforms. Alloa Job Centre transferred to Universal Credit Full Service in June 2017.
During the visit Luke Graham spent time with individual front-line staff, sat in on an Universal Credit application and observed a group session for people transitioning onto Universal Credit for the first time.
Speaking afterwards, Luke Graham said:
‘Clackmannanshire has had Universal Credit for a few months now and it was important to me that I met with the local Job Centre to see for myself the frontline experiences.
I was encouraged by what I saw during my visit and while there have been some issues, it is important to recognise there have been some very positive results too, including the recent changes to the advance payment scheme, so people in need can receive their payment on the same day.’
This was not the first time the MP has raised issues with the DWP. During last week’s visit he received feedback on the delivery of advances – an issue he has previously raised in the House of Commons.
Today (Monday) Luke followed up on his visit in Parliament, using ministerial questions to push DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) Minister, David Gauke, on shortening waiting times for work capability assessments.
‘this was a key issue that was raised by staff and I thought it was important for me to raise in the House of Commons as soon as possible.’
Following the visit Luke Graham said:
‘I have been working on DWP issues since being elected, including raising mobility and PIP assessments directly with ministers on behalf of constituents. I have been happy to have helped resolve the vast majority of those who sought help.
It’s important to remember that Universal Credit has received cross party support and the recent changes I have been pushing for mean advanced payments can be made on the same day where people need them.
If any other constituents are experiencing any issues I would encourage them to get in touch with my constituency office and we will do everything we can to help resolve the issue for you.’