The Conservatives are this month set to push ahead with the rollout of a controversial benefits shakeup that critics - including at least a dozen Tory MPs - say is pushing some of the country’s most vulnerable people to the brink.
Recipients of Universal Credit (UC), which combines six of the main welfare benefits into a single payment with the ultimate aim of getting people into work, have warned a six-week wait for payments is leaving people unable to eat or pay their bills.
Campaigners have also cited increased debt levels, a rise in foodbank use, inadequate guidance, challenges for domestic violence victims and an IT system that simply “doesn’t work” as just some of the arguments for pausing its introduction...
Will Universal Credit Actually Be Introduced?
Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke hinted at a HuffPost UK event at the Tory Party Conference this week that the rollout of the programme would continue at the current rate. “Nobody is talking about a reckless or risky approach,” he said.
There are currently 590,000 people on UC in England and Wales, with around 50,000 new claims each month. Once complete, more than seven million households will receive the new benefit.
It is expected to be fully in place by 2022.