TWO WELSH MPs are offering the free use of their phones for constituents needing to speak to the DWP about their Universal Credit claims.
Plaid Cymru’s Arfon MP Hywel Williams and Dwyfor Meirionnydd’s MP Liz Saville Roberts are offering people who need to talk to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) the use of the phone lines in their Caernarfon and Dolgellau offices.
The move comes following the news that claimants of the new benefit face paying 55p per minute to use its helpline.
Mr Williams, who is Plaid’s spokesperson on Work and Pensions has urged the Government to scrap the charges, whilst Liz Saville Roberts called the charges ‘despicable’.
In a joint statement, the MPs said: “It is shocking that those trying to claim Universal Credit face being charged for the privilege of simply speaking to someone about their claim. Notwithstanding the barriers already faced by many claimants, such as spiralling debts, homelessness and evictions, charging people who are broke to find out the status of their claim is absurd.
“Also, it is usually poorer households who are least likely to have reliable access to the internet, so the high cost of calling about universal credit is likely to hit them hardest. I hope they will drop this outrageous charge as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, constituents who wish to phone the DWP to discuss their Universal Credit application are welcome to come to our offices in either Caernarfon (Arfon) or Dolgellau (Dwyfor Meirionnydd) and use the phone free of charge.”