The axe taken to the DWP by chancellor Gordon Brown in the Budget is a cause of great concern to staff at the Citizens Advice Bureaux as evidence suggests many people are already not getting the required levels of service from the DWP.
This is particularly difficult for those on social security benefits or other vulnerable people, the CAB adds.
"For many benefits, clients already experience delays of two to three months and many millions of pounds of benefits go unclaimed every year because people lack the help and advice they need to make a claim," the CAB says.
Last year, the DWP was severely criticised over significant delays in handling and processing of claims for the Working Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which were introduced at the time of the last Budget.
The Tories have additionally pledged to do away with the Pension Credit, introduced in the autumn, in part because of the complexity and levels of means testing involved in its application. Many pensioners complained about the administrative difficulties they encountered when trying to apply for the credit.
Earlier this year the DWP claimed it would be able to maintain functionality with respect of the planned composite pension statements the government wishes to introduce. This followed the first of what is expected to be a series of strikes by DWP staff over collective wage bargaining.IFAonline
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