Leanne Criticises Callous Helpline Charges

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Rhondda AM Leanne Wood has offered free use of her constituency office phone to anyone needing to access the controversial Universal Credit helpline.

Leanne made the offer after it was revealed that some people are charged 55p a minute when calling the helpline. The rollout of Universal Credit – which groups together up to six benefit payments in one – has been beset with problems from its conception and there are predictions that many will need to access the helpline to track their benefit payments.

Ms Wood, whose office is on Pontypridd Road in Porth, said it was “unbelievable” that money was being made off the some of the poorest people in our communities.

“Most people would look to avoid ringing a telephone number that charges 55p a minute,” she said “but we are talking about people living on or below the poverty line. Just when you think this Tory Government in Westminster could not be more callous, they somehow find a way to raise the bar.

“It is unbelievable that somebody thought that this would be a good idea in the first place. The charges have to be dropped but, until they are, I am making my office telephone available to anyone that needs to call this Universal Credit helpline.

“People who already have money problems should not be punished further as a result of UK Government incompetence.”


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