Lord Freud says Universal Credit safeguards are working
The roll-out of the universal credit system has said to be continuing to gather pace as it’s extended across the whole of the North West.
Writing for 24dash, Lord Freud says that through a phased approach, new jobcentres will gradually come online during the remainder of the year until all of the offices across the region will be offering universal credit to single people.
The plan was for universal credit to be moved forward in a controlled and careful way as part of a long-term economic plan and soon the benefit will begin to roll out for couples and families.
Lord Freud wrote that: ‘This strategy has also allowed us to learn as we go, making changes quickly when they are required so that the system runs as smoothly as it should be, while limiting disruption to claimants. It has been vital for us to work hand-in-hand with our partners so that claimants are supported. And we have always been clear that protections will be put in place for social landlords as direct payments become increasingly common. Fixing our broken welfare system on a scale not seen since the end of the Second World War was never going to be easy and some have been quick to claim that arrears are rising as a result.’
Data from housing associations have revealed that rent arrears have fallen for the second quarter in a row.
Through working with housing association, landlords and local authorities, Lord Freud said that they learned that a key safeguard for landlords is that if a tenant builds up arrears equivalent of two months’ rent they will be switched back to managed payments.
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