William Eichler 17 October 2018

Council chiefs welcome Universal Credit roll-out delay

Council chiefs welcome Universal Credit roll-out delay image

Local authority leaders have welcomed the Government’s decision to delay the roll out of Universal Credit but expressed concerns over the bill for housing support.

The Government’s flagship welfare reform, which merges six benefit payments into one, has been temporarily halted under cross-party pressure from MPs.

The UC system was originally intended to be fully operational by April 2017. However, now it will not be fully rolled out until December 2023.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said they were ‘pleased’ at the Government’s decision and said that ‘real concerns’ remained about the ‘lack of engagement’ with local government and local partners with regards to the next phase of implementation. 

‘The Government needs to use this delay to work closely with the LGA, councils and stakeholders so that we can provide the best for vulnerable claimants and ensure no-one loses out on transitional protection,’ said Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s Resources Board.

‘This is also vital to integrate benefits with work on housing, employment, health and financial inclusion so that our welfare system provides a genuine safety net and supports social mobility.’

Cllr Watts urged Whitehall to make sure any extra money was used to make claimants better off under UC and to fund councils properly for the vital support they provide.

The LGA also expressed concerns that the delay in UC roll-out would mean councils had to foot most of the Housing Benefit bill.

‘The delay to UC means councils will remain responsible for delivering Housing Benefit to a significant majority of claimants while only receiving around half of what it costs to pay for this work,’ said Cllr Watts.

‘With councils facing a funding gap that will reach almost £8bn by 2025, they cannot be left to prop up further delays to the UC roll-out without being properly funded.’

To find out former Government advisor Dame Louise Casey's view on Universal Credit visit The MJ (£).

Safely into school image

Safely into school

How many plans can be made when it comes to transport to education settings? Liz Davidson reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Officer - Prevention Services

City of York Council
£36,476 - £41,830 per annum
This is an exciting new role within the Housing Standards and Adaptations team at the City of York Council delivering rapid support to... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Traffic & Transportation Engineer

Conwy County Borough Council
£41,881 - £44,863 per annum
You should have a degree or diploma in civil engineering or other relevant discipline, and extensive experience in... North Wales
Recuriter: Conwy County Borough Council

Deputy Manager, Family Services

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360 per annum
You will be mainly based at one of Camden’s 5 community Children Centres hubs. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Planning Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£31,434 - £34,986 per annum
You’ll investigate, consider and report on a full range of applications, development proposals and enforcement matters within... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Social Worker - Assessment and Intervention

Essex County Council
Negotiable
In Essex County Council we are "Serious about Social Work" Having won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year and been awarded 'Outstanding' by Ofs England, Essex, Harlow
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