At Defence Questions this week I asked the Minister of State what action his department was taking to ensure that those who serve in our Armed Forces, and who are subsequently diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, are given the help they need to access benefits.
As the Minister said in his reply, not every member of our Armed Forces will experience PTSD, but it is our duty to safeguard those who do and give them the benefits they deserve.
These women and men have been prepared to lay down their lives for their country. We will be forever in their debt and the least we can do is ensure that they are supported through social security payments. Sadly, the increased waiting that constituents are facing in accessing welfare has placed untold pressures upon them. This is not good enough. The Government can do so much better.
I am supporting Independent Age’s campaign to ensure that older people receive their Pension Credit.
Recent figures published by Independent Age show that an estimated 1,749 older people in Delyn are missing out on a combined £4,468,000 every year.
The campaign is calling on the UK Government see at least 75% of eligible people receive the Pension Credit by the end of 2020, at least 95% by the end of 2022, and 100% by 2025.
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit made up of 2 parts – Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if its below £167.25 (for single people) or £255.25 (for couples).
Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, for example a pension.
In Wales, 80,000 people are missing out on £214million. Read more “Pension Credit”
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions came to the House of Commons to deliver the devastating news that poverty was on the rise to 3.7million people and a rise in child poverty in particular.
I raised how some wards in Delyn have a child poverty rate over 40% and how unemployment continues to rise/ The UK Government have not got a grip on this and are presiding over a disastrous work and pensions policy.
On Monday I was drawn to question the Minister in Work and Pensions questions on Personal Independence Payments.
I asked the Minister why did the Minister not consult the Social Security Advisory Committee, where her contentions about the impact of this benefit could have been challenged?
The Minister responded that the “Committee is within its rights to look at the decision. It did so, and it concluded that it would not formally review that decision. We have used the urgency procedure, as it was within our rights to do, to establish certainty. We do not want there to be a long period of uncertainty around this”.
But surely it is right and proper for decisions of this nature to go to the Social Security Advisory Committee so that an in depth evaluation could be undertaken by experts and impartial witnesses. This Government needs to learn that the voice of experts is not something you should ignore.