Sunday Telegraph: PM May Readying Concessions on Welfare Reform


The Sunday Telegraph reported that Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, is on the brink of making concessions regarding a key welfare reform that has outraged opposition parties as well as some members of her own Conservatives.

On Saturday, the newspaper, without citing sources, said that the government has indicated that it is looking at ways to lessen the waiting time from six weeks for payments from its new Universal Credit benefits system.

Last week, some lawmakers from the own party of May vented their disappointment over the handling of the government of Universal Credit, which is created to simplify payments to claimants by combining six different kinds of state benefits into one.

The policy was initially implemented for a small number of claimants in 2013 under David Cameron, May’s predecessor. However, the expansion of the programme has been plagued by long setbacks and criticism that it risks hurting defenceless citizens.

Last week, the opposition Labour Party acquired a symbolic vote on a proposal calling for the welfare plan to be paused. However, May’s party dodged a full-blown public rebellion by ordering its lawmakers to abstain, thereby hiding the extent of internal unrest.

May directs a minority government, supported by a small Northern Irish party, met with the task of achieving a smooth withdrawal from the European Union – something which needs a profound split parliament to approve huge amounts of new legislation.

Separately, it was reported that the government had informed energy investors regarding a proposal to cap energy bills could be abandoned if it feels that major power companies are doing enough to restrict high bills, citing civil servants.

The office of May was not immediately available for comment regarding the matter.