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In addition, funding for Universal Support, the system for helping people to claim money, has been withdrawn after the Government handed responsibility to Citizen’s Advice in a £39m contract from April 2019.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

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Part Time Occupational Therapist - Children & Families

Essex County Council
£39168 - £42254 per annum
Part Time Occupational Therapist - Children & Families - ColchesterPermanent, Part Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

School Crossing Patrol Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £8.92 per hour
School Crossing Patrol Officer Temporary, Term Time £8.92 per hour Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Associate Educational Psychologist

Essex County Council
Up to £450.00 per day + Limited
Associate Educational Psychologist Temporary, Part-Time £450 Ltd per day Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Team Manager - SGO and Connected Person Fostering

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Team Manager - Special Guardianship Order and Connected Person FosteringPermanent, Full Time£47,405 to £58,727 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duty Senior - Assessment and Intervention

Essex County Council
£39168 - £47405 per annum + + Free Parking & Benefits Package
Duty Senior - Assessment and Intervention - Chelmsford basedPermanentFull Time£39,168 to £47,405 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County 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