Work and Pensions Committee Chair Frank Field has written to Damian Green, highlighting serious concerns with Universal Credit.
Work and Pensions Committee Chair Frank Field has written to Damian Green, highlighting serious concerns with the Government’s flagship welfare reform, Universal Credit:
“In February 2017 we issued a call for written evidence on Universal Credit (UC). This followed concerns we heard in oral evidence from local authorities, social landlords and charities about the rollout of full service UC.
“In a short period we received submissions from 33 local authorities and eight representative bodies from that sector; 57 providers of social housing and six representative bodies from that sector; seven private landlords and four representative bodies from that sector; 34 charities and advice organisations which assist UC claimants; and 30 individual claimants. The written evidence is published on our website.
“Many respondents supported in principle the objectives of UC. In particular, it is imperative that the welfare system creates incentives to work: work must pay.
“It was, however, striking that the evidence raised a near unanimous set of concerns about how UC is currently operating in practice. Although our inquiry was cut short by the dissolution of Parliament, given the urgency of those concerns the Committee agreed that I should write to highlight the main issues witnesses raised:
“We heard that some claimants have waited 12 weeks or more for their first payment, double the expected wait and resulting in hardship and distress.
“We were concerned that the Department was unable to provide performance data demonstrating how typical such delays are.