Despite support for halting Universal credit, the governance is ploughing ahead with its plans for roll out, having used their whip to get people to vote in their favour.
There are numerous stories of hardship. Recent announcements have suggested that the first payment to unemployed will be reduced from 6 weeks to 31 days. more than half are getting £200 emergency payments to live on. Many housing landlords are now handing our food packages.
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According to commentary in Inside Housing:
“UC was the brainchild of the Iain Duncan Smith in 2010 who suggested that rolling six benefits – including housing benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance – into one universal credit would reduce administration costs and, crucially, make work pay.
Instead of stopping when claimants find work, UC tapers off slowly to ensure that people on benefits remain, in theory, better off working – this better news is at the end of the process There have been IT problems and benefit cuts which have undermined the system.
Duncan Smith resigned in 2016, claiming that his colleagues in government had “gone too far” with welfare cuts and accused them of “salami slicing” the welfare-to-work system.”
Meanwhile, also in Inside Housing, a HA has commented that Universal Credit arrears could hamper housing associations’ ability to build, a provider has warned ahead of an emergency debate in the House of Commons.
“Radian, based in the South of England, issued the warning after revealing that 65% of its tenants on the new benefit system are in “major” rent arrears – averaging £700. The 20,000-home housing association said this would equate to £9m of annual arrears if replicated once the policy was fully rolled out.”