THE introduction of Universal Credit will “impact negatively on the lives of the most vulnerable people across our nation”, a Gwent AM has claimed.

The new benefits system is being rolled out across Wales and the UK, and was introduced in Newport earlier this month. But there have been widespread reports of delays to payments and other issues with the introduction of the new system, with some claimants having to wait weeks before receiving any money.

And, speaking in the Senedd this week, Islwyn AM Rhianon Passmore called the new system “highly regressive and destructive” and said she was concerned about the impact on the most deprived communities in Wales.

“Despite the outstanding and proactive work being undertaken in Wales to support, advise and assist those impacted by welfare reform, it is inevitable that Universal Credit will impact negatively on the lives of the most vulnerable people across our nation through the operation of a process that seems designed to purposely push people into poverty and debt,” she said.

First minister Carwyn Jones agreed the introduction of the new system was “a mess”.

“People are left without money, people who need money on a weekly basis,” he said.

“People are left in a situation where they cannot afford to buy things.

“People are left in a situation of uncertainty, and we know that the UK Government's response to all this is 'Who cares?'”