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SNP MP Margaret Ferrier has said the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) cannot ‘kick criticisms into the long grass’ following a parliamentary answer she received on the treatment of one of her constituents – who had to wait a full 11 months for an Employment Support Allowance complaint to be dealt with.
The answer confirmed that an 11 month waiting period is the UK Government’s accepted norm.
Margaret Ferrier said the delay was unacceptable and has urged the UK government to treat people with respect as they push ahead with cuts to social security support.
Commenting – Margaret Ferrier MP said:
“The minister’s answer is deeply troubling and begs the question – why do people have to wait so long, what has gone wrong? Our social security system should treat people with respect, which means getting access to their entitlements as quickly as possible.
“If the UK government wants us to believe they are serious about supporting sick or disabled people, that begins with making sure their complaints are properly investigated in a timely manner. An eleven month delay is completely unacceptable.
Local MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes backed his colleague’s position adding:
“From my own constituents’ experiences, I know that the DWP are making serious mistakes and putting people in financial difficulty. They need to be held to account and the Independent Case Examiner must have adequate support in order to carry out their investigations promptly. There must be a reasonable time limit on how long it takes for these complaints to be dealt with. 
“The Tories are trying to kick criticism into the long grass in order to hide the full extent of the impact of their austerity agenda. They need to take action now to deal with the shameful delay in dealing with complaints at the DWP.”


The full Question from Margaret Ferrier MP and the Government Response can be viewed by clicking here

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