The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the Universal Credit system after evidence show it is failing to cope with the effects of Coronavirus, with numerous reports of jammed phone lines and online application queues reaching over 100,000 people.
The Government's flagship Universal Credit scheme is touted as a key way to streamline benefit applications and recent Government announcements have focused on increasing the amount of money available to individuals.
However, the system has long been criticised for making people wait 5 weeks after a successful application before they receive their first payment. The Government has so far failed to scrap this period or consider moving to a Universal Income model.
Now there are reports that the system is struggling to deal with the surge in claims due to the effects of Coronavirus, with reporting last night showing people waiting in queues of more than 100,000 people simply to begin their application.
Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
"Our welfare system is supposed to be there to support people and ensure they receive a helping hand when they need it most. Instead, the system is already falling apart under the weight of new applications due to the effects of Coronavirus.
"The Conservatives need to take swift action to address these issues in the system. It is unacceptable that people cannot even begin their applications for Universal Credit due to blocked phone lines and online queues spiraling into the hundreds of thousands.
"Tinkering around the edges simply will not fix the problem and will not give people the peace of mind and security that they need. We need wholescale reform of our welfare system to ensure everyone is able to get the support they need as and when they need it."