Laura Sharman 11 January 2019

Rudd to announce reforms to Universal Credit system

Rudd to announce reforms to Universal Credit system image

A series of measures to reform Universal Credit are due to be announced today by the work and pensions secretary.

Amber Rudd has announced plans to make the system more ‘compassionate’ and ‘effective’.

This includes scrapping the extension of the two-child limit on Universal Credit for children born before April 2017. She also said she didn’t expect the benefit freeze to be renewed in 2020.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme she said: ‘It is inevitable that, as we roll it out, as we make the changes, we are learning about how to do it better.

‘Maybe things that were were proposed previously weren’t effective or weren’t compassionate in the way that I want them to be.

‘So I'm going to be perfectly bold about making those changes where I need to.’

In response, Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, director of the UK Women’s Budget Group said: 'We welcome the announcements made today and urge Amber Rudd to go further to tackle the major problems with Universal Credit which are pushing too many women and their children into poverty.

'The decision to exclude children born before April 2017 from the two child limit is only right. However, children born after that date are still being unfairly penalised and the infamous rape clause will continue.'

The High Court today has ruled that the way the Department for Work and Pensions interprets Universal Credit regulations is ‘unlawful’.

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