Labour’s shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith has accused the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of being “cruel and incompetent” following an apparently widespread, national level dose of DWP ineptitude that left at least 327,379 sick and disabled people who need to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) without their Christmas Bonus, which is usually paid during the first full week of December, in time for the holiday season.
Mr Smith said:
They’ve [the DWP] now been forced to admit that 300,000 people went short because they couldn’t even manage to make a simple payment in time for the holidays.
People have always known the Tories are cruel, but they used to think they were at least competent.
Iain Duncan Smith seems to be having a good go at proving they’re both cruel and incompetent.
A DWP spokesperson responded, saying
All regular ESA payments were made on time over Christmas, with the majority of people receiving their additional Christmas seasonal payment on schedule.
Due to an administrative error, a small minority may not receive their additional Christmas seasonal payment until the end of January.
Some people have yet to receive their payment. How long does it take to fix an “administrative error”?
I can’t help but wonder about the reason presented by the DWP for the payment delays. I don’t believe it’s the truth.
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