Jane Dodds, the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, is urging the UK Government to end the five-week wait for Universal Credit - as figures show a surge in demand at food banks.
The Trussell Trust has revealed that food bank usage in Wales is at record levels, having increased by 15% last year.
113,373 three-day food parcels were handed out by the food bank charity in Wales during 2018-19, compared to 98,350 the previous year. Over 40,000 of those food parcels were provided for children.
According to the Trussell Trust, almost half (49%) of food bank referrals made due to a delay in benefits being paid in UK were linked to Universal Credit.
Jane Dodds, Welsh Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, said:
Food banks simply shouldn’t need to exist at all
“Having recently visited a food bank in Knighton, I know just how vital a role they play in supporting so many people within our communities.
“But food banks simply shouldn’t need to exist at all. The fact that demand for them is at record levels is proof that the safety net of our benefits system just isn’t working for too many people.
“Because someone new to claiming Universal Credit has to wait five weeks before receiving even a penny, many people are left with nowhere else to turn.
“Liberal Democrats demand better than the disastrous Universal Credit system backed by Brecon and Radnorshire’s Tory MP. That’s why I’m urging the UK Government to end the unfair five-week wait and restore some dignity to our benefits system.”