Universal Credit roll-out 'should be put on hold'

10 Jul 17

The government’s planned roll-out of Universal Credit should be paused until significant problems are addressed, Citizens Advice has warned.

In its report Delivering on Universal Credit the advisory charity revealed that delays of payments, of up to six weeks and longer, are causing people serious financial insecurity, with many being forced into debt.

Citizens Advice surveyed 800 people who sought help with Universal Credit in areas where it was running a full service.

It found 39% of people are waiting more than the six weeks it should take to receive their first payment.

Just over 1 in 10 (11%) are waiting over 10 weeks without the benefit and 57% are having to borrow money while waiting for their first payment.

The charity’s warning comes ahead of the planned rapid expansion of the scheme across England and Wales in October.

'Full-service' Universal Credit - where all eligible claimants in an area are able to receive the six benefits rolled into one - has been gradually introduced across England and Wales for over two years, to around five new areas each month. 

But in October this process is set to speed up to over 50 new areas every month.

Did you enjoy this article?