The House of Commons was set to vote on the transfer of 3 million benefit claimants to the new system – Universal Credit. However, Amber Rudd, Work and Pensions Secretary, has been forced to delay proceedings amid fears of a rebellion within the Conservative Party.
One Whitehall source claimed that Rudd wanted ‘universal credit to receive a fresh parliamentary mandate and be personally sure the system is working in the interests of every claimant’.
Universal Credit has been a flagship programme of the Conservative Party. However, numerous concerns have been raised by individuals across the political spectrum. It has been feared that the system increases poverty and homelessness – thus causing more issues.
It is now believed that a vote will be held for transferring 10,000 to Universal Credit – these individuals will act as a sample and will influence future decisions made by the Government.
Ministers have maintained their commitment for the universal roll out of Universal Credit by 2023.
Universal Credit replaces six of the traditional benefits and attempts to merge them into one – which is paid in monthly instalments to claimants.
However, individuals have suffered due to initial delays and difficulties in requesting an advanced payment – which acts as a loan from the state.
Current claimants of the benefit claim that they have been left with little food, whilst some have allegedly resorted to prostitution.
It is estimated that 3.2 million households have been left worse off across the United Kingdom.
Frank Field, Chairman of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, stated: ‘The government seems finally to have woken up to the human catastrophe that was waiting to happen under its ill-formed plans for moving people on to universal credit.’
More to follow..