Debate on the impact of Universal Credit on claimants, House of Lords, Thursday 16 November 2017

Independent research for the LGA found that the cumulative impact of welfare reforms to 2020 will lead to falls in real income for many households. It is therefore vital the Government works with councils to ensure that UC is effective in incentivising work and increasing income from employment.


Key messages

  • Local authorities continue to play an important role in managing the impacts of welfare reform in their communities, including the rollout of the Universal Credit (UC) Full Service. It is therefore crucial that councils’ concerns about the effect of the rollout of UC on residents and services are listened to by the Government.
  • Councils have raised concerns about the design and implementation of the UC Full Service to date. Feedback from councils shows that the initial payment waiting period for claimants is resulting in a marked increase in debt and rent arrears. This is damaging for households and councils’ ability to invest in social housing.
  • Independent research for the LGA found that the cumulative impact of welfare reforms to 2020 will lead to falls in real income for many households. It is therefore vital the Government works with councils to ensure that UC is effective in incentivising work and increasing income from employment.
  • A new report shows that the challenges facing both councils and households risk undermining the objectives of the Government’s welfare changes. The report, The local impacts of welfare reform, published by the Learning and Work Institute and commissioned by the LGA, brings together a wide range of research to explore the impacts on people, communities and services.

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Debate on the impact of Universal Credit on claimants, House of Lords, Thursday 16 November 2017