Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Pleased that Universal Credit is being extended and that a slow and steady roll out is taking place

Universal Credit is being extended – starting to take claims from families from this week, and making sure work always pays more than benefits.

The Coalition inherited system of welfare that disincentivised work and trapped people in poverty. The public, and more importantly the people on welfare, lost trust in the system because it did not reward work. There were often few incentives to escape a benefit trap.  

That’s why reforming the welfare system is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain. Universal Credit is restoring fairness to the system by making sure work always pays more than benefits. By spring next year, it will be in a third of job centres. Universal Credit claimants are now moving into work faster and staying in work longer, and the system is being road tested so that we are now bringing families on-board with extra childcare support and flexibility for employers.  

Universal Credit is already changing lives: we are seeing claimants spending more time looking for jobs and moving smoothly into employment safe in the knowledge that it will always pay more to be in work. This gives people security and hope for the future. People have criticised the Coalition for doing Universal Credit changes slowly. I disagree; I want this ground breaking and highly complex reform to be road tested before each new quantum leap.