SDLP Slams DWP Over ESA Underpayments

The SDLP has hit out at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after new findings revealed ESA underpayments were avoidable.

Deputy leader of the party Nichola Mallon said the findings from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) show the DWPs "total lack of disregard for the welfare of claimants who rely on the payments".

She said: "The PAC report is an accurate reflection of the experience of welfare reform for many constituents, who feel as though they are merely a number.
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"The DWPs 'culture of indifference' shown by their lack of urgency to repay claimants the amount owed as a result of its blunder, and in a timely manner, illustrates just where the priorities of this Tory Government lie.

"The lives of vulnerable claimants are tough enough without being denied the support they need to get by, and unfortunately as long as the North remains without a functioning Executive and a Departmental Minister, claimants here are left to the same fate as those who are being failed by DWP across the water."


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