Universal Credit challenges remain ahead of final phase of roll-out, think-tank says

Written by Oliver Wade

Although Universal Credit is now better equipped for the final phase of its roll-out thanks to measures announced in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget, Resolution Foundation senior fellow David Finch stated that “challenges remain”.

Commenting on the regulations laid down in parliament yesterday, Monday 5 November, that will govern the final phase of the Universal Credit roll-out, Finch said: “The final phase of the Universal Credit roll-out, which will involve around two million families moving from one benefits system to another, is the biggest challenge yet facing the government’s flagship welfare reform.”

However, the measures announced in the Budget have “significantly eased” its progress, including the higher work allowance and the rolling-on of key benefits to avoid significant waits between payments.

“The Secretary of State’s relaxation of hard deadlines within which families must complete a claim is also encouraging. But challenges remain,” he added.

Despite this, as the final phase has been delayed until late 2020, there is “plenty of time” for the government to make further improvements to the benefit.

Finch concluded: “The government must increase the share of claims that are paid in full and on time, and improve the treatment of self-employed workers, to ensure this difficult final phase of the roll-out delivers for those that Universal Credit was created to support.”

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