Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with local authority leaders on the effect of the roll-out of universal credit on the level of demand for councils’ Local Welfare Provision schemes.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has regular contact with a range of partner organisations concerning Universal Credit including representatives from local government.

The reforms to the Social Fund in 2013 allowed local authorities in England and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales to deliver their own local provision for people who are in need of urgent help. Local authorities are best placed to decide how to target flexible help to support local welfare needs.

We passed funding over to local authorities and devolved administrations from April 2013. This gave them maximum flexibility to deliver services as they see fit according to local needs.

New Burdens funding has been provided to councils to cover additional costs associated with Universal Credit. In 2017/18 the Department paid £13m in New Burdens funding and paid £14m in New Burdens for 2018/19. Last year we worked with a number of Local Authorities to refresh these costs resulting in £18m in New Burdens being paid in 2019/20. 67 Local Authorities received a total of £4.7m in extra payments to recognise alleged additional costs caused in the early stages of roll out.

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