Uni­ver­sal credit roll-out slowed and im­pact as­sessed

The Guardian Weekly - - Gobal Report -

The roll-out of the gov­ern­ment’s flag­ship wel­fare pro­gramme is to be over­hauled amid dire warn­ings about its im­pact on the vul­ner­a­ble.

Am­ber Rudd, the work and pen­sions sec­re­tary, is said to be set to scrap plans for an im­mi­nent par­lia­men­tary vote al­low­ing 3 mil­lion ex­ist­ing wel­fare claimants to be trans­ferred to the con­tro­ver­sial uni­ver­sal credit sys­tem.

Rudd, who took up the post in Novem­ber, will now seek ap­proval from MPs only for a pi­lot scheme that trans­fers just 10,000 peo­ple from the old to the new sys­tem. Only af­ter the pi­lot has been as­sessed will MPs be asked to ap­prove the full roll-out.

The shift comes af­ter a stream of con­cerns from char­i­ties, MPs and cam­paign­ers about the im­pact uni­ver­sal credit has had on claimants new to the ben­e­fits sys­tem, with claims that it has fuelled debt, home­less­ness and the use of food banks.

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