Poverty and Inequality

31.10.17

Experts call for reform of ‘not fit for purpose’ Universal Credit

Universal credit needs to be relaunched if it is to be successful in the future, a review published today by a leading think tank has argued.

The review, by Resolution Foundation, claims that the system is currently at risk of failing those most in need, as it negatively effects the most disadvantaged in society.

It expresses concerns at the current six week wait experienced for those making new Universal Credit claims, given that only one in seven working age families who claim the benefit have more than one month’s income in savings.

Cuts to Universal Credit means that it will be almost £3bn a year less generous than the tax credit system it replaces.

Consequently, working families will be an average of £625 a year worse off, with 1.1 million two parent working families set to lose an average of £2,770 a year.

Working single parents are expected to lose £1,350 a year on average. As a result of these cuts, the work incentives which the new system was supposed to create have actually been weakened, with lone parents able to work fewer hours before losing any of their benefits. 

The foundation says that over two thirds of potential second earners with children will keep a maximum of 40% of their gross pay if they enter low paid part-time work, removing the incentive to work longer hours.

It has set out a potential reform of the Universal Credit system, which includes reducing the six week waiting period and encouraging payments on a more flexible schedule than monthly, which does not work for many people, and tackling the design flaws, as well as improving the incentives to work.

Senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, David Finch, said: “The government is rightly committed to the roll-out of Universal Credit, but will need to relaunch the benefit to both address the design challenges that are already visible and get ahead of those that will emerge in the years ahead.”

He continued: “Looking further ahead there are major challenges to come, from how childcare is dealt with to ensuring equal treatment of the self-employed.

“The upcoming Budget provides an opportunity to relaunch Universal Credit – making it fit for purpose in 21st Century Britain.”

Comments

Richard Hall   01/11/2017 at 08:05

And disability premium is not included in UC it's gone £78 per week for those most incapable of work...... Just a badly thought out abusive benefit.

T.S.   09/11/2017 at 12:48

I am a single part-time working parent and am already worried about long term future basics. I currently pay bedroom tax and fees of £50 a month for my child to attend a school out of the catchment area because the school in the local area was failing them. I have no savings, no safety net and no support. The threat of Universal Credits is a huge concern with it creating a bigger richer/poorer divide. I work hard and have done all of my life to have no life. I do not have monies to go out or for luxuries. I do not smoke or drink. I have no time-out from my child but I am still going. The government need to wake up and receive a proper reality check to see how the other half life myself live as this is going to become a future of more homelessness once universal credit comes into play.

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Council to spend £4m investigating senior officers who gave themselves 20% wage rise during pay freeze

14/12/2018Council to spend £4m investigating senior officers who gave themselves 20% wage rise during pay freeze

A council has agreed to allocate nearly an extra £250,000 to an investigation looking into alleged pay rises given to senior officers. ... more >
Government commissioner allows Wakefield Council to retain full control of services

14/12/2018Government commissioner allows Wakefield Council to retain full control of services

Almost four months after Ofsted inspectors identified “serious and widespread failures” across Wakefield’s children’s ser... more >
Fife Council scraps controversial P1 assessments despite harsh government opposition

14/12/2018Fife Council scraps controversial P1 assessments despite harsh government opposition

Fife Council has announced that it will be scrapping the controversial standardised P1 assessments at the end of the current academic year. ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Council to spend £4m investigating senior officers who gave themselves 20% wage rise during pay freeze

14/12/2018Council to spend £4m investigating senior officers who gave themselves 20% wage rise during pay freeze

A council has agreed to allocate nearly an extra £250,000 to an investigation looking into alleged pay rises given to senior officers. Labour, Plaid Cymru, and Independent members at C... more >
Government commissioner allows Wakefield Council to retain full control of services

14/12/2018Government commissioner allows Wakefield Council to retain full control of services

Almost four months after Ofsted inspectors identified “serious and widespread failures” across Wakefield’s children’s services, it has today been announced that the counci... more >

the raven's daily blog

Blog: 5 minutes with Gary Wallis-Clarke, member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills Group

12/12/2018Blog: 5 minutes with Gary Wallis-Clarke, member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills Group

Ahead of the upcoming networking extravaganza EvoNorth, we caught up with Gary Wallis-Clarke, a member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills group, executive headteacher at West Jesmond Primary school, and its national leader of education. In our interview, Gary reveals what the Northern Powerhouse means to him and explains... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

The digital buying community is live

12/11/2018The digital buying community is live

Many of the requirements from buyers posted on the Digital Marketplace were either non-compliant or poorly worded, which resulted in challenges f... more >
A force to be reckoned with

12/11/2018A force to be reckoned with

The South Bank plan, which refers to a number of investments and proposed activities across a massive plot of land south of the River Aire, is on... more >
Less for less: the risk of 'core offers'

12/11/2018Less for less: the risk of 'core offers'

As councils across England struggle with their finances in the face of massive cuts from central government, Simon Edwards, director of the Count... more >
A two-speed England

05/11/2018A two-speed England

Central government needs to change its approach to local transport planning and investment, including by consolidating funding and maximising dev... more >

interviews

New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
Cllr Cutts on dealing with children’s services pressures: ‘I can’t magic money out of the air’

26/09/2018Cllr Cutts on dealing with children’s services pressures: ‘I can’t magic money out of the air’

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has outlined her priorities for dealing with soaring demand of children’s services and social ... more >
Nottinghamshire considers unitary shake-up proposals in a bid to balance books

05/09/2018Nottinghamshire considers unitary shake-up proposals in a bid to balance books

Nottinghamshire County Council is considering proposals to scrap its current two-tier structure for a new unitary system in order to save on... more >

public sector focus

View all News