Universal Credit: North Herefordshire

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Selection Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the effective roll-out of universal credit in North Herefordshire constituency.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Universal Credit is now fully rolled out. From 12 December 2018, it has been available for new claims across the country.

Universal Credit replaces six benefits with one, to simplify the system and make work pay. As a result, people claiming Universal Credit move into work faster, stay in work longer and spend more time looking to increase their earnings. Universal Credit also provides more help with childcare costs, a dedicated Work Coach, scraps the 16-hour ‘cliff edge’ and the prohibitive tax rates should someone start work.

Under the legacy system £2.4 billion of welfare benefits did not get paid at all because claimants could not navigate the complexity of the system. Universal Credit is putting this right, ensuring this money goes to 700,000 claimants who need it.

The next stage of the Universal Credit process will be to move claimants on the existing legacy benefits onto Universal Credit. Once this process has been completed there will be an additional £2.1 billion spend per year on Universal Credit compared to the current legacy system it replaces. Earlier this month, in Written Statement HCWS1243, I set out our revised plans on how we intend to do this over the next few years.

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