Universal credit: Vote to extend benefit to 3 million delayed

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Work and Pensions Secretary Amber RuddPicture copyright
EPA

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Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has mentioned she would hear “very fastidiously” to considerations over common credit score

The subsequent stage of the common credit score rollout seems to have been delayed amid considerations in regards to the controversial new advantages system.

MPs have been on account of vote on whether or not to maneuver three million profit claimants onto common credit score within the subsequent few weeks.

However this vote has been pushed again and Parliament will as a substitute be requested to vote on transferring simply 10,000 folks to the brand new advantages system.

Ministers say all claimants will probably be on common credit score by 2023 as deliberate.

Common credit score is the UK’s welfare reform and is being phased in throughout the UK. It combines six totally different advantages into one month-to-month cost.

Supporters of the reform say it helps simplify the present advantages system, which is difficult.

However the rollout has run over price range, is years not on time and has been criticised for making an estimated three.2 million households worse off.

Some folks already claiming common credit score say it has pressured them into destitution and in some instances prostitution. Others say they’ve been left to depend on foodbanks.

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A couple of million individuals are presently in receipt of common credit score – both new claimants for advantages or those that have had a change in circumstances, maybe by shifting home.

The federal government’s plan is for nearly seven million folks to be on common credit score by 2023.

Within the subsequent few weeks, ministers have been on account of search Parliamentary approval to maneuver three million present welfare claimants onto the brand new profit.

However now Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd will search approval for simply 10,000 folks to be moved onto common credit score in the summertime.

That course of will then be assessed and additional Parliamentary approval sought earlier than each different present welfare claimant is moved.

A supply near Ms Rudd mentioned the pause was the appropriate factor to do, and will reassure Parliament that she was listening to MPs’ considerations.

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Media captionWhat’s the issue with common credit score?

The information that the federal government was pushing again the vote was first reported within the Observer on Sunday which quoted a Whitehall supply as saying Ms Rudd needs a “recent Parliamentary mandate” for the reform.

Ms Rudd, talking when she was first given the job of labor and pensions secretary in November final yr, mentioned she would hear “very fastidiously” to considerations over common credit score and admitted the system “will be higher”.

She added that she would “be taught from errors” and “alter” the system, which she mentioned had issues, the place wanted.

The federal government has agreed on a number of events to sluggish the tempo at which common credit score is prolonged throughout the UK.

Ms Rudd’s predecessor, Esther McVey, introduced that claimants will probably be given extra time to change to the brand new profit and they might not have to attend as lengthy for his or her cash.

And within the 2018 Autumn Finances final month, Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged an additional £1bn over 5 years to assist these shifting to the brand new funds and a £1,000 enhance within the quantity folks can earn earlier than shedding advantages, at a value of as much as £1.7bn a yr.


What’s common credit score?

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Getty Photos

Common credit score is a profit for working-age folks.

It replaces six advantages – earnings help, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and help allowance, housing profit, little one tax credit score and dealing tax credit score – and merges them into one cost:

It was designed to make claiming advantages easier.

A single common credit score cost is paid instantly into claimants’ financial institution accounts to cowl the advantages for which they’re eligible.

Claimants then should pay prices resembling hire out of their common credit score cost (although there’s a provision for people who find themselves in hire arrears or have issue managing their cash to have their hire paid on to their landlord).

The most recent accessible figures present that there have been 1.four million common credit score claimants in November.

Learn extra: What’s common credit score?


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