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Via @welshlibdems

Responding to reports that almost half a million people needed help to apply for the government’s flagship Universal Credit benefit online, the Welsh Lib Dems have said that large-scale digital exclusion issues show that Universal Credit is not fit for purpose.

New data from a Huffington Post investigation shows that nearly half a million people needed help to apply for the government’s flagship Universal Credit benefit online.

The Universal Credit system is the first of its scale to be rolled out by government through an online-only application system.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Work and Pensions Christine Jardine said:

The Lib Dems raised the issue of digital exclusion with ministers months ago, but these concerns clearly haven’t been taken on board.

This underlines the need to look again at Universal Credit, which is clearly not creating the simpler and more accessible benefits system that was intended.

It is failing the very people it was supposed to be designed to help.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:

Now the government has acknowledged that it has created a greater need for food banks, it is now time to admit that it needs more than the tinkering we have seen.

Universal Credit is not fit for purpose, and it’s time the Government accepted responsibility.