The Department for Work and Pensions has again changed the timetable for the roll out of universal credit. The DWP confirmed that universal credit will be rolled out to new claimants in Hammersmith & Fulham from today. It previously announced it would also be rolled out in Rugby, Inverness, Harrogate, Bath and Shotton from October – but universal credit will only now be applied to these areas ‘by the spring’. The move represents another delay by the DWP, which initially hoped the policy would apply to all new claimants across Britain by the end of October.
The delays are likely to further raise concerns about the progress of the coalition government’s flagship welfare project. Under universal credit a number of working-age benefits are rolled into one single payment made direct to households. A DWP spokesperson said the project is still on course to be rolled out to all claimants by 2017.
A scathing National Audit Office report in September found the implementation of universal credit suffered from ‘weak management, ineffective control and poor governance’. The DWP countered by saying the report did not take into account improvements to the project since April.
Source: Inside Housing