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.
Credit Unions are excellent financial institutions that ensure that everyone can have access to banking. They provide people with affordable loans at fair rates of interest as well as a decent savings account. The Flintshire Credit Union is run by volunteers for the benefit of local people and anyone can become a member.
As credit unions provide such an important service I was concerned to hear that social security payments from the DWP were not being paid correctly. In particular, there has been trouble with payments being made to credit unions but no information as to who the payment is for.
The minister made some positive remarks but this shouldn’t be happening in the first place. After the difficulty of applying for welfare people should have access to their payments, not further delays.
I have obtained figures that show that working parents in Flintshire are still set to lose between £2,000 and £3,000 when they are transferred onto Universal Credit which will devastate their family finances and leave them unable to afford the basic necessities.
There is little incentive to work extra hours when the marginal tax rate under Universal Credit is still 75% for income tax payers. Those doing extra hours on the increased rate of National Living Wage will only get to take home £1.89.
The ‘clawback’ on additional earnings saw only a modest reduction in the Autumn Statement from 65% to 63%. Whilst this is a tiny step in the right direction, it is worth less than £300 for most working parents. It also goes nowhere near taking the taper back to the original 55% or offsetting the enormous £2,000 to £3,000 cuts that Universal Credit represents. Over 90% of the cuts are still being applied to Universal Credit. Read more “Working families in Flintshire are set to lose over £2,000 following the Autumn Statement”