Universal credit: Children's commissioner calls for pause

The rollout of common credit score to households with youngsters needs to be paused, the youngsters’s commissioner for England has advised MPs.

Anne Longfield advised the Training Choose Committee there was proof households with youngsters had been being hit onerous by the welfare adjustments.

The affect of common credit score had not been examined on households with youngsters, mentioned Ms Longfield.

The federal government says the change will make it simpler to say advantages.

The rollout of the brand new profit throughout the UK accelerated final month – with about 50 job centres now being added every month.

It merges six advantages for working-age individuals into one new cost.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit: Helpline delays

The system, with a built-in six-week wait, has been beset by controversy.

The profit is paid in arrears, which suggests everybody has to attend no less than 4 weeks for his or her cash.

The remainder of the wait is due to the best way the scheme is run.

Thus far, a few quarter of all claimants have needed to wait greater than six weeks to obtain their first funds.

“I’m apprehensive concerning the rollout of welfare reforms,” Ms Longfield mentioned in her proof to the committee.

“I’m conscious that, truly, households with youngsters are being very onerous hit, households with greater than two youngsters very onerous hit, and, truly, lone mother and father.

“So, I do assume we have a set of households whose lives are fairly precarious.

“Usually they’re those in work, and I’m not certain that everybody has recognised that the brand new poor and the brand new insecure are these in insecure work.”

She mentioned the truth that the brand new system had not been examined on households with youngsters meant “we’re shifting into rollout not figuring out what meaning”.

“So, one of many issues that I might be asking the chancellor to do is to pause common credit score rollout for households with youngsters till we higher perceive what meaning,” Ms Longfield mentioned.

She mentioned the change was approaching prime of “welfare failures” and households had been now having to resort to utilizing meals banks.

“I’m nicely conscious of the affect of the rules around two children and in addition the benefits freeze,” she mentioned.

“There may be cumulative affect and I feel at this stage, with such a susceptible group of youngsters and households, it is the proper factor to pause common credit score.”

The Division for Work and Pensions says common credit score will enhance employment by about 250,000 as soon as it’s totally rolled out.

A spokeswoman mentioned: “Below common credit score, persons are shifting into work sooner and staying in work longer than the previous system.

“The variety of youngsters rising up in properties the place no-one works has fallen by half 1,000,000 since 2010.

“Below UC, mother and father get tailor-made assist to seek out work that matches with their caring tasks and, as soon as in work, have 85% of their childcare prices refunded.”

Printed at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:11:36 +0000