Rhondda AM Leanne Wood is to hold her first benefits advice surgery this week.
The surgery will be for people who have any issues, problems or concerns with the benefits they receive from the UK state. It will be held at the Tylorstown Welfare Hall between 10.30am and 12.30pm this Friday.
Ms Wood said the surgery was in response to controversial changes to the benefits system and the growing number of people who are having payments stopped without justification by Westminster’s Department of Work and Pensions.
“I am anticipating that this will be the first of many benefits surgeries that I will be hosting,” said Ms Wood. “I wish there was no need for such a service but my office is receiving many calls and emails from people who are have had their benefits stopped or reduced for unfathomable reasons. These people are often desperate and surviving on the goodwill of family, friends and foodbanks. That is unacceptable.
“The demand for advice is set to increase because the roll-out of Universal Credit – as we have seen in other areas – has been problematic. I expect that Rhondda Cynon Taf will be no different when it happens here.”
Ms Wood said: “We may not be able to provide definitive answers to people’s problems on the spot but we will endeavour to provide as many solutions as we can and point people in the right direction. We also want to be there for people who need to know that there is someone prepared to fight their corner.
"So many people have had a bad experience navigating these changes, and so I hope we will be able to provide at least some help”