Downing Street has dismissed calls to delay the introduction of the universal credit benefit system. A spokesman said the project, being pushed through by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, was “on track and on time”. He said: “It is a vital part of our welfare reform agenda and we are fully committed to it.”
Seventy organisations have raised concerns about new monthly payments, access to an online system and IT. The universal credit will replace jobseeker’s allowance, tax credits, income support, employment and support allowance – formerly known as incapacity benefit – and housing benefits with a single payment.
The system will be “piloted” in parts of north-east England next April and will come into force nationally for new claimants from October 2013. Existing claimants will be transferred to the new system in stages until 2017.
Source: BBC NEWS
17th September 2012