Laura Sharman 21 January 2020

Universal Credit creating ‘a complex mix of winners and losers’

The impact Universal Credit is having on different parts of the country is being ‘ignored’ a think tank has warned today.

In a new report, the Resolution Foundation warned the reforms have created a ‘complex mix of winners and losers’ depending on where the claimant lives.

The long and winding road found that while families will receive £1 a week more on average under Universal Credit, ‘sizable’ groups of families will gain or lose by large sums.

For example, in the Liverpool City Region, just 32% of families will be better of under Universal Credit, compared to 52% who will be worse off. This difference is largely driven by Liverpool’s high proportion of single parents, out-of-work single people and disabled people.

The Foundation is calling on Government to increase the number of new claims paid on time and in full, make the childcare support in Universal Credit more flexible, and boost work allowances for single parents and second-earners.

Laura Gardiner, research director at the Resolution Foundation, said: ‘Welcome recent reforms mean that Universal Credit is now set to be marginally more generous than the benefits it is replacing. But this average hides a complex mix of winners and losers, with families in some areas of the UK faring particularly badly.

‘As well as making reforms at a national level – such as helping families to overcome the first payment hurdle and offering more flexibility for those with childcare – policy makers across the country need to better understand the effect Universal Credit will have in different places.’

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