To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons enquiries from hon. Members on universal credit will not be taken by telephone; when the new system for answering such enquiries was introduced; and if she will make a statement.
We confirmed last year that claimants do not need to give consent for MPs and their caseworkers to raise concerns. Prior to the roll-out of Universal Credit Full Service in their constituency, we write to each hon. Member. The letter explains the implicit consent arrangements for MPs and also provides the telephone number and email address of the District Manager in the constituency, so that MPs can contact District Managers if there are urgent constituent cases that need attention. This is the best route to raise issues on behalf of constituents and works well because MPs’ offices can establish local relationships.