What does the Budget mean for Universal Credit?
What does the Budget mean for Universal Credit?

So, there we have it. The final Budget before Brexit.

An interesting one. Or was it? Well, there were a few terrible jokes (mainly about toilets), and an interesting display of the most pantomime aspects of politics – boos, heckles, cheers, and jeers.

But what does it all mean for Universal Credit? Broadly speaking it means an acknowledgement of errors, more time, and a bit more money. This is still not even close to the money that was cut from … Read more

Is Universal Credit ready for an expansion?
Is Universal Credit ready for an expansion?

Universal Credit (UC) recently made the headlines for the wrong reasons. Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, came to parliament to correct her statement regarding the National Audit Office’s (NAO) recent report on the government’s flagship benefit. The NAO’s report found that UC is not value for money, and it has significant doubt about its main benefits.

Managed migration makes the problems more immediate

The report’s conclusions became immediate in the last couple of weeks, as plans have been … Read more

New DWP proposal will trap people in their homes, and in debt.

New DWP proposals to protect landlords’ rental incomes are in danger of trapping people in their homes, creating a modern day version of a debtor’s prison.

Last year Lord Freud committed to protecting landlords’ rental incomes under Universal Credit.  To do this, DWP propose that tenants in rent arrears have 40% of their core benefits deducted until rent arrears are cleared – that’s 40% taken from JSA, Income Support or  Standard Allowance under Universal Credit.

DWP have not put forward … Read more

An unlikely pairing? Universal Credit and the bank of mum and dad

Statistics and survey results from claimants taking part in Universal Credit Pathfinders have been released by DWP today.

The stand out fact is that the number of people who have actually moved on to Universal Credit is relatively small: just 2,150 people in the Pathfinder areas.

The survey results don’t tell us much about how people are coping with housing costs in the Universal Credit system, which is a shame – as we know this is often one of the … Read more

Small-scale Universal Credit pilot dodges crucial tests

If Betsy Duncan Smith had been in a humorous mood when the Work and Pensions Secretary arrived home on Monday night, she could have screened the movie Ghostbusters.

Day one of Universal Credit reminded me of that scene where the office has opened, the staff are primed – and then they wait and wait for the phone to ring.

So far no one has come forward to actually claim Universal Credit, the cornerstone of the coalition’s welfare reform policy.

This … Read more