Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament for Arfon Hywel Williams and Dwyfor Meirionnydd’s Liz Saville Roberts are providing constituents wanting to speak with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about their Universal Credit claims, free use of their office phone lines in Caernarfon and Dolgellau, following revelations that claimants face paying 55p per minute to use the helpline.
Hywel Williams MP, who is Plaid Cymru’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, Hywel Williams MP and Liz Saville Roberts MP 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.’