Latest Public Sector News

24.05.12

Universal Credit to be trialled early

The new single benefit, Universal Credit, is to be introduced six months earlier than originally planned, with trials taking place in the North West from next April.

The system will be tested in Tameside, Oldham, Wigan andWarrington, with up to 1,500 new claimants expected in those areas. The pilots will be followed by a full roll-out in October 2013, with existing claimants expected to be transferred by 2017.

Universal Credit will replace income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance, as well as working tax credits, income support, child tax credits and housing benefit.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “By sweeping away the complexities of the current benefit system, Universal Credit will be simpler and more straightforward for people to claim and this early roll-out marks a significant step in the delivery of our welfare reforms.

“The early introduction of Universal Credit demonstrates our ongoing commitment to transforming the welfare system and will improve the lives of millions of claimants by incentivising work and making work pay.”

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