"The measures announced today should allow councils to ensure that fewer claimants get into financial difficulty at the start of their claim."
Responding to the £1.5 billion package of measures to improve the implementation of Universal Credit, Cllr Claire Kober, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:
“We have raised significant concerns around the design and implementation of Universal Credit. While we are pleased that the Government has listened to some of the issues that we have raised, these measures also do not fully address the widening gap between people’s incomes and outgoings, and the resulting pressures on council budgets and services that are presenting real challenges to local authorities.
“The measures announced today should allow councils to ensure that fewer claimants get into financial difficulty at the start of their claim.
“While we await further detail, we are clear that councils need to be fully funded to put in place the administrative support and changes that these measures will entail, in particular the proposal for a continuation to Housing Benefit, and that claimants need to be fully aware of the support available to them.
“Councils would like to be able to do more, in partnership with government, to support low income households to increase their income from employment and access genuinely suitable and affordable housing.”