Universal Credit rollout continues following Budget benefit changes

13 Jul 15

Universal Credit is being rolled out to 14 new jobcentres, largely in London and Cornwall.

The benefit combines six existing benefits into a single payment. These are: Jobseeker’s Allowance; Income Support; Employment and Support Allowance; Working Tax Credit; Child Tax Credits; and Housing Benefit.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has promised that the benefit will be available across Britain by the end of the current financial year.

The expansion comes after last week’s Budget set out a series of benefit changes that had a knock-on for the Universal Credit regime. Chancellor George Osborne announced that he was reducing the household benefit cap to £20,000 and £23,000 in London as part of his plans to cut £12bn from the welfare bill.

Working-age benefits, including tax credits and Local Housing Allowance, are to be frozen for the next four years, while regulated rents in the social housing sector will be cut by 1% a year for the next four years.

Child tax credit and support for children through Universal Credit are to be limited to the first two children.

“These changes to Tax Credits are not easy but they are fair, and they return tax credit spending to the level it was in 2007/08 in real terms,” Osborne said.

The 14 jobcentres offering Universal Credit from today are:

• Ealing

• Southall

• Acton

• Edmonton

• Enfield

• Palmers Green

• Barking

• Dagenham

• Rhyl

• Helston

• Launceston

• Liskeard

• Newquay

• Penryn and Falmouth

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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