D-Day for Universal Credit

Details day for universal credit.  Thursday 17th February saw  the long awaited release of the Welfare Reform Bill which  includes full disclosure on the new Universal Credit benefits system.  The expected changes  include; incentives for couples to live together  and also  benefits to be reduced for people who refuse to work. Iain Duncan Smith  is hopeful that his proposed changes to the benefit system will encourage marriage and a return to family based values.  Full details of the reform can be found here.  There is also  a link in our useful links section where you will be able to download the Impact Assessments from the DWP website in PDF format.


  1. Andrea Lynne says:

    If all the benefits available come under one umbrella will that mean far less time consuming paperwork which would be good but will this also mean far less jobs as the need for so many different departments will surely vanish.

    • Percy Browne says:

      I doubt that there will be as many job losses in these government departments as one would expect. The unions and staff will find some way of keeping people in these jobs. They may even need to employ more staff to do the jobs that the computers are doing. Labour lost the election in 2010, and now they and their friends will work behind the scenes to obstruct this government’s policies so they can blame “the Tories.” Personally, I think it’s a good idea as all claimants will now be able to resolve all issues regarding their benefits in one place, instead of phoning or visiting separate offices for each part of their claims. The last government, Labour, had planned to introduce a similar system which would have resulted in some people getting less money.

      • I have not heard anyone in government departments or local authorities claim that this is bad policy. The devil will be in the detail. Most of the objections are on practical matters of how the technology will work and how it interfaces with other government policies. It is true that Labour would have gone down a similar path. However, all the things that are wrong with welfare has not been tackled in 30 years. The bottom line is that the cost of administrating benefits is already quite low. If real saving are to be made it will be in severe cuts to people’s benefits and voters do not like to see homeless people in their towns when they are off to vote. The technical issues, social issues and the politics are too complicate to simply wave a magic wand over. The risk to the programme comes not from naysayers or even imagined naysayers but from the simple fact that the time scales do not allow for failure and proper testing. My estimate is that by the next election there will be twice as many people working on UC than working on the current benefits, because we will go live with a system that will not be and then we will need to staff up to deal with the technical problems.

  2. steve moorcroft says:

    This UC is unfair to people with long term health problems. They should not be penalised if they cant manage to work more than a few hours a week, and if they are working a few hours a week, they should not be cajoled or bullied by job cebtre staff into trying to gain more hours employment when clearly they are NOT well enough to cope with it.
    This govt should be taken to court for human rights abuses in its treatment of the long term sick. many have long term untreatable conditions that they are unlikely to be cured from.

    • Kerry says:

      In my family I look after the children (who are both under 4)and my partner is on long term incapacity benefit for severe mental health problems. He can care for himself but would not be able to care for 2 young children and I am therefore not returning to work until they are both in school. I would like to know how the UC is expected to be implemented for people in situations such as ours. My partner is entitled to receive his own money by way of his incapacity payment and the income support for our family is therefore paid to him, a huge and well publicised effect of mental health problems is that money does not have a true value and it therefore disappears as quickly as it arrives. I receive the Child benefit and CTC payments and use these to ensure that we eat every day and that my children have the things that they need. Housing benefit goes straight to the landlord thankfully as this ensures that it is paid. When the UC comes in and all of these have to be paid in one sum, how will this work? If it s paid to my partner things will go downhill very fast! but he is entitled to his own money… CTC was bought in to ensure that mothers received money for raising their children that they more often than not did not receive following the tax relief that the fathers had for having a family. Has this changed? This is really worrying me 🙁


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