Tory Conference: Charity’s Silence On Universal Credit Deaths, Hours After Minister Announces £51m Funding

Benefits

By John Pring in Disability News Service.

 

A charity has refused to criticise the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over four deaths linked to universal credit, hours after a minister announced it would receive tens of millions of pounds to support claimants on the new benefit system.

Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey (pictured) told the Conservative party conference on Monday that the advice charity Citizens Advice would receive the funding to deliver support to claimants.

It will be delivered through “universal support”, which provides universal credit claimants with advice and assistance, particularly with budgeting and the online aspects of their claims.

Since last year, local authorities have provided this service, funded by DWP, but Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland will take responsibility for delivering a “strengthened” version across England, Wales and Scotland from next April.

The two charities will receive £12 million in the run-up to April 2019 to “ensure a smooth transition to the new delivery model” and then another £39 million from April 2019 to provide the service.

 

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