The government of UK has been criticized by the Archbishop of York with regards to the 6-week long waiting time for getting universal credit. The Archbishop believes that this has a significant impact on the poor population. He has asked ministers to reduce the “absurdly ignorant” 6-week time period set for UC (Universal Credit) payments.
Poor population at an increased risk
The Archbishop’s interference came in the midst of discussions that ministers might be willing to cut it, even though the Government dismissed the probability of any change.
According to critics, with the chief welfare program gaining pace, the 6-week waiting time has started to contribute to increasing debt, evictions, and rent liabilities. According to the Archbishop, there is an urgent need to openly evaluate the working of universal credit.
Dr. John Sentamu, a senior at the Church of England, says that several million people, particularly those requiring help, already have debts to pay and the program leaves them with no cushioning. In case they are unable to pay rents, they could be evicted. This means that for families with dependent children, the local council has to bear the extra burden of giving them homes.
UC helpline calling charge removed
Tory MP, Stephen McPartland, reportedly threatened to revolt against the UC roll-out. He said that critics were extremely close to arriving at a resolution with regards to the call to reduce the waiting period to 4 weeks. The Tory rebellion issue was avoided by Theresa May at a House of Commons meeting last week. She announced that the calling charges for the UC helpline -55p per minute will be scrapped for all benefit claimants.
According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a popular charity organization, the number of people living in poverty will likely increase by nearly 500,000 owing to the 4-year lock on benefits which began in the previous year.
Dr. Sentamu’s piece in The Sunday Times reads that the Bible summarizes the poorest people in the society as ‘orphans and widows’ because these were groups that faced the highest risks and had minimal support. He says that it is crucial to think about their current successors whose necessary payments are increasing by the day and incomes are either stagnant or diminishing.
Sentamu added that the groups in question are scared about UC, especially because it assumed that each one has something to fall back on and this will help them get through the waiting time of 42 days.