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

Government must encourage council scrutiny ‘culture change’

15/12/2017Government must encourage council scrutiny ‘culture change’

The government has to encourage a culture change within local councils in order to improve the quality of overview and scrutiny plans. The C... more >
London council to cut sick pay in cash-saving bid

15/12/2017London council to cut sick pay in cash-saving bid

A London council has proposed to stop paying sick pay for the first three days in a bid to save money. The GMB has called Hillingdon Council&rsq... more >
Burnham announces major 2018 GMCA transport overhaul

14/12/2017Burnham announces major 2018 GMCA transport overhaul

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has announced a major overhaul of the region’s transport network. Burnham said problems... 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 >
Government must encourage council scrutiny ‘culture change’

15/12/2017Government must encourage council scrutiny ‘culture change’

The government has to encourage a culture change within local councils in order to improve the quality of overview and scrutiny plans. The Communities and Local Government Commons Select Com... more >
London council to cut sick pay in cash-saving bid

15/12/2017London council to cut sick pay in cash-saving bid

A London council has proposed to stop paying sick pay for the first three days in a bid to save money. The GMB has called Hillingdon Council’s proposal an “affront to its hard-workin... more >

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order to be realised in full. Last Monday saw the long-awaited launch of the UK’s new Industrial Strategy, the government’s plan for prosperity and growth in a ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Introducing the Facilities Management Marketplace

14/12/2017Introducing the Facilities Management Marketplace

The new Facilities Management (FM) Marketplace will be an opportunity to streamline the process of buying key services whilst propping up new ent... more >
Meet Pepper, the social care robot

14/12/2017Meet Pepper, the social care robot

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has become the country’s first local authority to fully exploit the benefits of robotics in social care by ... more >
Quality, not quantity, is what matters

14/12/2017Quality, not quantity, is what matters

Luke Sibieta, research fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Education Policy Institute, takes a look at the impact of the apprentic... more >
NCSC: A new and adventurous agenda

11/12/2017NCSC: A new and adventurous agenda

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), reflects on the lessons learned during the first year of the governm... more >

interviews

Are we taking a risk on education?

14/12/2017Are we taking a risk on education?

Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the National Education Union (NEU), questions the stark lack of announcements a... more >
A fantastic opportunity awaits you

11/12/2017A fantastic opportunity awaits you

Eight months on from the government’s announcement of major training reforms, Anne Milton, minister for apprenticeships and skills at the D... more >
This is Manchester, we do things differently here

10/12/2017This is Manchester, we do things differently here

Joanne Roney OBE, chief executive of Manchester City Council, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the region’s pioneering plans f... more >
Andy Burnham: the crisis unfolding in front of our eyes

10/12/2017Andy Burnham: the crisis unfolding in front of our eyes

With homelessness on the rise across the country, politicians in central and local government are desperately looking for new solutions. Andy Bur... more >

public sector focus

View all News