Ministers have been warned that Universal Credit still has ‘real problems’ as an MP revealed one constituent had been forced to live on 7p a day.

File photo dated 08/12/14 of Labour MP Frank Field, who has issued a fresh warning about “state-sponsored destitution” amid claims of a “gaping hole” in the welfare system. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday January 29, 2018. Figures uncovered by Mr Field found that nearly 200,000 applications were made for advances on working age benefits in 2016, the latest year for which figures are available. See PA story POLITICS Benefits. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

Labour MP Frank Field, who chairs the work and pensions select committee, urged the Government to rethink axing administrative staff as the benefit was rolled out.

The Birkenhead MP said: ‘There are 98 members on temporary contracts in Birkenhead going to be laid off because its the end of their contract period.

We’re likely to still be having real problems with the roll out of universal credit, I had five cases last week – one with a woman reduced to living off 7p.’

Mr Field, who spoke during work and pensions questions in the Commons, added: ‘Might some of those staff, if not all of them, be redeployed to make sure there is the smooth transition from traditional benefits to the new one.’

Shadow Minister for Innovation and Science, Chi Onwurah MP speaks at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Parliamentary Links Day event at Portcullis House, London.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said she was happy to talk to Mr Field about his concerns.


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