The Universal Credit pilots (Pathfinders) will begin in the north west of England in April 2013 and full national roll-out is due to start in October 2013. The Government has designed a welfare system which should help ease the transition from benefits to work, but significant concerns remain about the potential impact of the changes on some of the most vulnerable benefit claimants, especially the online claims system and the proposed single monthly payment. The Government needs to reflect on its ambitious implementation timetable. Under Universal Credit, payments to cover the costs of rent will go to the benefit claimant, rather than direct to the landlord. This is a major change and the Committee therefore recommends that, during the initial phases of implementation, claimants who currently have their housing costs paid to their landlord should have the option to continue with this arrangement. The Committee also notes that it has not yet received sufficient evidence to satisfy itself that the Government will achieve its stated aim of ensuring more generous support for the disabled. The Government plans to calculate monthly Universal Credit payments by using information taken from data feeds from HMRC's new Real Time Information (RTI) system though there are concerns about that programme. The Committee, further, recognises that there is likely to be a significant increased demand for advice services during the four-year transition to Universal Credit. The report also comments on closely-related policy areas, including: the conditionality and sanctions regime; passported benefits; localisation of council tax support; localisation of the Social FundQ264 Teresa Pearce: Just a last question, which is not to do with that it is to do with what we were talking about ... Q265 Teresa Pearce: Because 0845 numbers are really expensive if you have only got pay as you go. ... You are, then, asking for a very sophisticated ability from the claimant to know that that information has not gone from their employer and let you know, month by month, how much they anbsp;...
|Title||:||Universal Credit Implementation|
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Work and Pensions Committee|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2012-11-22|