Government delays rollout of Universal Credit
The introduction of the flagship benefit change has been described as a "steady process" by Theresa May after the government delayed seeking approval for a full roll-out.
In a statement released yesterday, the prime minister stressed ministers are "learning through this process" but insisted Universal Credit will be implemented in full by its original target of December 2023.
Instead, the department plans to pursue approval for a pilot scheme to move an initial 10,000 people onto the all-encompassing benefit in July. However, the timescale for the expansion after the pilot scheme is still unknown. The NLA has continued to press the DWP for more detail surrounding the rollout and has been working closely with the department to produce several resources that provide information and support for landlords.
This announcement comes after the new Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd avoided seeking MPs' consent to move the total three million existing welfare claimants to Universal Credit, this will now be sought after the pilot scheme has been deemed a success.
Universal Credit rolls six working-age benefits into one monthly payment, but its implementation has prompted concerns from charities and MPs of all parties about causing unnecessary hardship for claimants and a lack of clarity for private landlords.
Speaking on Sunday, the Prime Minister defended the system as one that "encourages people into work". However, she continued to admit issues continue to plague the managed migration process, with many bodies calling for a halt to the rollout
"Throughout the introduction of Universal Credit, we've been clear that we would roll it out as a steady process, learn as we were going along.
"We'll be saying more about the future in the coming weeks. But it will be fully rolled out by 2023 as was originally intended.
"This is a system that encourages people into work, makes sure that when they're in work it pays."
For NLA members who wish to obtain advice or resources surrounding Universal Credit, you can contact the advice the advice line on 020 7840 8939 or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org