Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament for Arfon and party Spokesperson on Work and Pensions Hywel Williams has welcomed a u-turn by the Department for Work and Pensions who have confirmed that Welsh language speakers will now be able to apply for Universal Credit following concerns that there would be significant delays in provision for Welsh speaking claimants.
In a letter to the Plaid Cymru MP, (attached) the DWP said the new online service will offer the ‘same functionality for Welsh-speaking customers as it does for those using the English service’, and further confirmed that ‘Welsh speaking claimants will be assigned a Welsh speaking Case Manager and Work Coach’ and all face to face meetings will subsequently be in Welsh.
Hywel Williams MP said,
‘I’m pleased the DWP has finally acted.’
‘I have long-campaigned to bring about this change so that my Welsh speaking constituents entitled to claim welfare support, are able to do so in the language of their choice, using the same method as everyone who does in English.’
‘I tabled several Written Questions and raised the matter in the House of Commons, seeking clarity from the Government as to why Welsh speakers were being denied their full rights to take advantage of this new online service.’
‘Whilst I congratulate DWP technical staff on working to implement this new system, it is regretful that the online system wasn’t developed as a fully accessible, bilingual service from the outset. There is a lesson to be learnt here.’
‘I remain concerned however that the Universal Credit system as it is now remains flawed.’
‘The Government still haven’t sufficiently addressed some of the failures in the system, such as the discriminatory two child policy, and I therefore renew my call to postpone the roll-out in Gwynedd until these are properly redressed.