Unison report; Universal Credit – is an issue for local government

Unison  have contacted all MPs and councillors in the UK (with a housing benefit service) with their new report:      Universal Credit – is an issue for local government. Unison have kindly supplied us with a copy of this report and  an extract of  the text is as follows;

Why Universal Credit is an issue for local government


In October 2013 the biggest change to the benefits system since 1945 will begin. The changes are profound. Over 1 million people will be affected in the first 6 months alone and by the time the new system is fully in place, in 2017, it will be relied on by as many as 6 million households – 19 million people.

Universal Credit will affect anyone who claims or who will claim

–                 Child Tax Credit

–                 Working Tax Credit

–                 Housing Benefit

–                 Income Support

–                 Job Seekers Allowance

–                 Employment and Support Allowance

–                 Support for Mortgage Interest

As the Welfare Reform Act made its way through Parliament, politicians were lobbied furiously by charities and others, rightly concerned about the impact on people’s income and their ability to meet their housing costs.

But no-one has been talking about the service.

At the moment there are no answers to the following basic questions about the Universal Credit service

–                 How will someone apply locally?

–                 Where will they apply locally?

–                 What documents will they need and where will they take them locally?

–                 Where will there be a local ‘Universal Credit’ office be?

–                 What office accommodation will be used?

–                 How many staff will be needed?

–                 How does someone get face to face advice and help if they have a problem?

In fact all the indications are that the Government is not even planning to deliver a local service.

But we know that when things go wrong people will turn to their local council, their local councillor and their local MP for help.

And if people do not get their Universal Credit payment on time, if they lose their home, or they are unable to feed their families the local council will have to step in.

To read the full report please go to the Unison Universal Credit guide and click on resources




  1. Kam Purewal-Mann says:

    What I want to know is has the government thought about what is going to happen to the hundreds of benefit assessment officers..we are going to lose our jobs!

    • zak mehmet says:

      always think about your well paid jobs at the expense of the claimants!!..Housing Benefit administration has failed miserably under local authorities..It makes sense for claimants to go to one agency for JSA/IS and Housing Benefit..what gives you the god given right to assume you should have that responsibility Kam??..HB fraud is rampant in many local authorities and the fraud teams are not fit for purpose. Local Authorities are there to serve their own needs not the service user…collate any information ..and year in year out its the same – local authorities are inept at running most things except libraries

  2. Helen says:

    I agree there needs to be change Kam is correct to be worried Hb is outdated and we all need to be upto date with the changes that are going on I think all we can do it up date our skills in other areas and make ourselves more flexible. The problem with a lot of people who work for local goverment is that they are specialised in one area and that will be there down side. I have gained a lot of qualifications in Hb and ctb which are none transferable we are underapressiated by the dwp at times and the skills and knowledge that we need in order to do are job well is large. People who work outside of Hb have no idea how much info we have to store in our brain day to day fingers crossed for the future


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