Universal Credit's next phase begins
- 28 Oct
The next phase of the government's flagship welfare reform - Universal Credit - is starting its next phase of its national launch but far more slowly than intended.
Hammersmith and Fulham are the latest UK councils to start trials of Universal Credit. Eventually there will be 8 million households on the new scheme, however a larger roll-out was meant to be have started this month but the process suffered management and computer issues which has hindered its progress.
Six councils were supposed to sign up from October however only Hammersmith and Fulham are ready to launch today. It is thought that the other, Rugby, Inverness, Harrogate, Bath and Shotton, will join the scheme by spring next year, reports the BBC.
Welfare minister Lord Freud said that the "slow and careful" approach was not working well. He said: "This is a massive cultural transformation that the government had to get right. We introduced Universal Credit in a slow, safe and controlled way in Manchester and this careful approach is working. We will build on these successes".
Ministers believe that the key advantage of the new credit is that the system is designed to ensure that moving into work always pays. This means that when an individual comes off benefits and into a job, or takes on more hours at work their income will go up also.
However this reform may be weakened if there are no jobs for people to move into or if extra hours are not available for them.
Hammersmith and Fulham are also trialling a system of intensive support for jobseekers alongside Universal Credit. This will see claimants having four face to face interviews with a "work coach" within the first two weeks of signing on for Universal Credit.
Chris Bryant MP, shadow minister for welfare reform, said the "flagship welfare reform is now in total chaos.
"Universal Credit was supposed to be rolled out nationally this month - but instead we are seeing a scaled down version trialled in just a handful of job centres. And the NAO says tens of millions has now been wasted - with hundreds of millions at risk of being written off.
"This is an issue we need government to get a grip on, but David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith have completely lost control. A One Nation Labour government will bring down the benefits bill by reforming social security to support more people into work."
- 03 May
MANY MAY STRUGGLE AS A RESULT OF CHANGES TO THE UNIVERSAL CREDIT SYSTEM
The study envisages the following issues from the move which is expected to save the taxman £1billion a year by 2021:Chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham said:"This cut...
- 13 Mar
CIH SCOTLAND POINTS OUT ISSUES WITH IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW SINGLE PAYMENT ON UNIVERSAL CREDIT
Following recent warnings from the Scottish Parliament's Social Security Committee about problems with the new Universal Credit system, CIH Scotland has pointed out some issues with the...
- 23 Nov
THE LHA CAP WILL APPLY TO ALL TENANTS THAT RECEIVE UNIVERSAL CREDIT
These details were stated by the government:Lord Freud announced in a ministerial statement that this would "ensure simplicity and a streamlined process". He also said tenants who are moved from...
- 17 Oct
UNIVERSAL CREDIT SET TO EXPAND IN AREAS SERVED BY KIRKINTILLOCH JOBCENTRE
The beneficiaries of this would have to live within one of these postcodes: G64 4, G66 1, G66 2, G66 3, G66 4, G66 5, G66 7 and G66 8.This entitlement means working age people in these postcodes...
- 25 Aug
AFTERMATH OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT DELAYS
The labour MP also said "the minimum six-week payment period faced by new Universal Credit claimants led to reliance on emergency food parcels, triggered debt and rent arrears, and caused health...
- 25 May
FIRST ERROR AND FRAUD FINDINGS FOR UNIVERSAL CREDIT
The department's findings show that underpayments due to official errors were considerably higher than for the older Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) Programme, however, the rate of overpayments was...
- 09 Sep
Universal credit targets defended by Iain Duncan Smith
When asked about the effectiveness of the roll-out of universal credit Mr Duncan Smith said: “Universal credit is now available in more than half of jobcentres across Great Britain and will be...
- 18 Aug
Scottish carers are worse off due to universal credit
Child Poverty Action Group has sent a report to Scottish and UK ministers urging them to amend the universal credit regime to pay closer heed to Scotland’s systems and use devolved power to protect...
- 13 Aug
Universal Credit claimants rise to almost 90,000
Figures by the Department for Work and Pensions have found that 89,357 people were claiming universal credit by 9th July which was a rise of 18% compared to 75,426 on 11th June, reports Inside...
- 13 Aug
Scottish government to revamp universal credit
The Scottish Government has decided it wants to give claimants the choice of having their payments made twice a month rather than just once a month on universal credit, reports Scottish Housing...
Revenue Optimisation "We really appreciate the work that Support Solutions did for Home Group in securing significant additional revenue for our supported housing schemes. This really will make a positive difference to the way in which we support our vulnerable tenants". Dave Coope - Home Group