From: David Howram, Mirfield.
ONCE again I find myself agreeing with Tom Richmond (The Yorkshire Post, October) 26. The Government have, and not for the first time, refused to vote during Opposition Day Motions, for fear of being defeated. Labour, in my view, rightly called for a debate in order to attempt to pause the roll-out of Universal Credit.
Universal Credit claimants have experienced major problems including the “premium rate” telephone enquiry line, and the six-week wait for the first payment. Indeed the architect of Universal Credit, Iain Duncan Smith, has stated on television that he did not envisage claimants having to wait six weeks.
The Archbishop of York has, again rightly in my view, accused Government Ministers of being “grotesquely ignorant” for believing the poor have savings to tide them over for six weeks while they wait.
I watched the live debate on the BBC Parliament Channel, during which I heard Kevin Hollinrake, the MP for Thirsk and Malton, speak. He mentioned that Universal Credit had been successfully rolled out in in his constituency some 18 months ago. I formed the opinion, whilst he spoke, that he did not seem to think there had been any problems for claimants in his constituency.
Notwithstanding it is obvious that there has indeed been major problems for claimants and the Government is well aware of these problems, however their MPs chose not to vote. I feel this course of action by them demonstrated a total lack of compassion for the poorer people of our society.
From: DS Boyes, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds.
IT must be the supreme irony that when Parliament is agonising over Universal Credit with all its potential problems of delayed payments to those in desperate need, the obscene pocketing of money by members of the House of Lords goes on regardless.
Ordinary people are told that ‘welfare to work’ is all important for the good of this country and its finances, yet the unelected House of Lords is not only a job for life but one where you don’t have to do any work at all.
It is to the eternal shame of all party leaders that neither abolition nor reform of the Lords has happened, and is unlikely to, although the greater shame lies with the Labour Party whose leading lights grabbed peerages, and the money, with both hands despite calling for the institution’s abolition.