North Ayrshire and Isle of Arran MP Patricia Gibson, has slammed the UK Tory Government for continuing to delay back payments to claimants who lost out on Severe-Disability Premium (SDP).
Mrs Gibson has asked Department for Work and Pensions - DWP Secretary of State, Amber Rudd MP, to outline exactly when claimants will receive the money they are owed, including the additional funds awarded as a result of a High Court judgement in May.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) committed to initiating back-payments this month. However, no time has been made for a Westminster debate on regulations in the final week of the parliamentary session to enable this to happen. This means back-payments will not even begin for several months, at best.
Under pressure from the Scottish National Party (SNP), the UK Tory Government was forced to U-turn and confirm ten months ago that they will repay the 7,000 claimants who lost out on months of SDP payments as a result of being moved to Universal Credit. To-date, not one person has been reimbursed.
The DWP said that repayments could take up to six months to administer once MPs have voted on managed migration regulations, leaving people waiting over a year and a half after the UK Tory Government promised repayments.
Commenting, Mrs Gibson said:
“The UK Tory Government’s incompetence is truly staggering. They’ve failed to both amend the regulations and comply with the High Court’s judgement.
“It is outrageous that recipients, MPs, charities and local authorities are being kept in the dark over their plans and when arrangements will be made for back-payments of the Severe-Disability Premium. Thousands of vulnerable people are missing out on money they need.
“SDP back-payments must be initiated as a matter of urgency. The UK government's shambolic handling of this legislation shows nothing but contempt for claimants.
“It is imperative that time is found for a debate this week and regulations urgently passed, so that people can begin to receive the money they are entitled to.”