Laura Sharman 31 July 2020

Lords call for reform of 'failing' Universal Credit system

Lords call for reform of failing Universal Credit system image

A Lords committee has urged the Government to substantially reform Universal Credit to protect the most vulnerable.

The Economic Affairs Committee said the welfare policy is failing millions of people and blames its design for soaring rent arrears and the use of food banks.

It is calling for the Government to introduce a non-repayable two-week grant to all claimants, tax credit debt to be written off, and increase in the standard allowance.

Chair of the committee, Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, said: ‘The mechanics of Universal Credit do not reflect the reality of people’s lives. It is designed around an idealised claimant and rigid, inflexible features of the system are harming a range of claimant groups, including women, disabled people and the vulnerable.

’Universal Credit needs more money to catch up after 10 years of cuts to the social security budget. It requires substantial reform to its design and implementation, the adequacy of its awards, and how it supports claimants to navigate the system and find work.’

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