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Thousands of families could be facing debt – and possibly homelessness – this Christmas because of the Conservatives’ hated so-called “benefit”, Universal Credit.

Rules enforced by the Department for Work and Pensions mean people who are ordered to apply for Universal Credit after this week will face a five-week wait for payment.

This would put them in debt ahead of Christmas – December 25.

Take North Wales as an example. Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the membership body for housing associations in Wales, released shocking figures released revealing that 73% per cent of housing association tenants in North Wales claiming UC are in rent arrears.

The average amount owed is a staggering £585.

Data for Wales as a whole shows 84 per cent of housing association tenants claiming UC owe an average of £556 on their rent.

The figure is more than double that owed by tenants receiving Housing Benefit through the old system, according to CHC.

And the Tories tell you they have made improvements to the system.

Food bank use among people claiming Universal Credit has increased over the past six months – so there will be no turkey, mince pies or presents for them!

Many could apply for an advance Universal Credit payment, but this is a loan that will then be deducted from future payments, meaning they’ll lose up to 30 per cent of future UC payments until it is paid off.

The lack of cash may even force some claimants – mostly women – into “survival sex” work, otherwise known as prostitution.

The Tories won’t care. When then-Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey heard about this scandal – years ago – her only comment was that “perhaps there are other jobs on offer”.

She is the Tory candidate for Tatton so I advise anybody who lives there to vote Labour instead.

Labour itself is planning to pilot Universal Basic Income (UBI) schemes in which everybody would receive a basic amount to cover their living expenses, with no poverty-inducing wait.

But that won’t happen unless a Labour government is elected.

What are you going to do?

Source: Delays in Universal Credit payments risk leaving families in Christmas debt hell – North Wales Live

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