All’s fine in Wigan
New benefits roll-out in Wigan shames UK effort
Wigan Council and the Jobcentre Plus said months of work behind the scenes mean the controversial benefits shake-up has had minimal impact locally.
... the authorities say the horror tales of claimants left out of pocket and struggling to get the money they are entitled to while the system unnecessarily burdens the taxpayer are in distinct contrast to the picture in Wigan ... [and] fears that the full roll-out would lead to the unemployment figures soaring through the roof would so far appear to be unfounded.
Penny Applegate, partnership manager for the Jobcentre Plus, said: “We feel it has gone very smoothly. There haven’t been any issues ...”
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said: Every day I speak with families who are struggling to make ends meet because of delayed or incorrect payments, while the new assessment process is costing taxpayers four times the amount of the benefit system it’s designed to replace ... [and] Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue said people were falling into arrears and debt problems under the system.