The troubled Universal Credit (UC) rollout is set to be delayed yet again, according to reports in the press, which will see the government hold back full implementation from March 2023 until December that year.
That would mean that the controversial system – which rolls six benefits into one payment – would be six years late after initially pencilled in to arrive by the end of 2017.
According to leaked papers seen by the BBC, the government is planning to continue to pay income support, employment and support allowance, and jobseeker’s allowance for two weeks after a claim for universal credit has been made. This would cut down the five-week wait for the first payment to just three weeks in a bid to stop claimants slipping into hardship. Other plans include slashing the maximum deductions from payments from 40 to 30 per cent as well as measures to help self-employed claimants.
There’s been a lot of talk about who will lose out when moving to #universalcredit. Let’s look at the different ways people move on to the new benefit, and what this will mean for their income: THREAD 1/13
— Child Poverty Action (@CPAGUK) October 11, 2018
Employment Minister Alok Sharma responded to the speculation in the House of Commons on Tuesday, refusing to confirm that the government is set to announce their latest climb down on Universal Credit.
“There has been a great deal of speculation about Universal Credit over the past few days, and I cannot and will not comment on speculation,” he said. “When it comes to the roll-out, we have long said that we will take a slow and measured approach to managing migration, which is why we will continue to take a test-and-learn approach, acting on feedback and improving the system as it rolls out.”