Martin Ford 29 October 2018

Budget 2018: Billion-pound Universal Credit pledge

Budget 2018: Billion-pound Universal Credit pledge image

A billion pounds has been promised in an attempt to ease benefits claimants’ transition to Universal Credit.

The chancellor Philip Hammond bowed to pressure from MPs on both sides of the Commons by announcing a package worth £1bn over five years in his today's Budget.

The system has faced criticism from both the opposition and Mr Hammond’s own party, with a joint statement signed by 20 Conservative MPs calling for extra funds before Monday’s Budget statement.

The rollout has also come under fire from the cross-party Work and Pensions Committee and, last week, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Whilst admitting ‘I recognise the genuine concern among many members’, the chancellor defended Universal Credit as a ‘long overdue and necessary reform’ replacing a ‘broken system’.

He claimed it would ‘help drive growth and employment’ and was ‘here to stay’.

Mr Hammond also announced that he would raise work allowances by £1,000 per year, claiming 2.4m people would benefit to the tune of £630 – costing the treasury £1.7bn. ‘Additional protections’ will also be detailed later this year.

The completion date for managed migration has been pushed back to December 2023.

Councils have been hit financially by the chaotic rollout of UC, with delays in payments to claimants causing them to fall behind on rent and tax bills and in the worst cases, being made homeless.

It has left councils facing additional administration costs and rent and tax shortfalls that are not covered by funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In addition, funding for Universal Support, the system for helping people to claim money, has been withdrawn after the Government handed responsibility to Citizen’s Advice in a £39m contract from April 2019.

This week’s measures are described by the Treasury as ‘a response to feedback’ following stinging criticism from the PAC last week. It said the DWP was ‘disturbingly adrift from the real-world problems’ caused by the Universal Credit rollout.

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use image

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use

Want to reap the benefits of Commercial Cards but coming up against some challenges? James Sykes, Head of Commercial Cards, Lloyds Bank and David Legg, Head of Corporate Card Products, Lloyds Bank, discuss how the payments industry is helping organisations unlock their true value.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Commercial Customer Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 to £43,857
Are you someone who is innovative and has the drive to increase revenue for the Council whilst ensuring excellent service provision to our customers? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Social Care Lead Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£35,745 - £40,876 pro rata per annum
A vacancy has become available for a part time Social Care Lead Officer, to cover in... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Communications & Corporate Affairs Manager

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£47,845 - £50,900 per annum
To apply for this role please upload your most recent CV that sets out your relevant experience against the job description. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Career Grade Planning Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27978 - £37722 per annum + n/a
Career Grade Planning Officer - West Area and East Area Team The Royal Borough of Greenwich continues to faces an unprecedented growth agenda in terms England, London
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highway Engineer - Reactive Maintenance

Bracknell Forest Borough Council
£35,354 - £40,506 incl. LWA, plus £963 car allowance
We make a difference to the environment we live in. Come and help us manage our highway infrastructure. Bracknell, Berkshire
Recuriter: Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue