It’s Universal Credit Day – Hip Hip Hooray!
Jobcentres, from the rural Highlands of Scotland, down through the Vale of York and into London, are moving over to the new benefit.
The church bells are ringing, the street urchins have a smile on their faces, and the unemployed are queuing up to congratulate the local Jobcentre for their hard work.
As part of the accelerated roll out announced by the Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith in September, over 150 Jobcentres will come on board in the next 2 months. It will then be available in all Jobcentres by this time next year.
Sad faces have been seen at those not yet ‘on-line’ with Universal Credit!
And on the eve of this national roll out, new research shows that Universal Credit is getting people into work more quickly and so helping them to earn more.
Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith said:
This government’s welfare reforms have saved the taxpayer £50 billion and restored fairness to the system.
That Valentine’s gift Ipswich Unemployed Action sent Iain was money well spent!
The centrepiece of these reforms – Universal Credit – begins national roll out tomorrow. This landmark event is a key part of our long term economic plan, which guarantees you will always be better off in work than on benefits.
The evidence today shows that under Universal Credit, people move into work more quickly and earn more money, giving them increased financial security. It is very impressive that we have seen these results so soon and that this is having a real impact on people’s lives. This is a cultural change which will alter the landscape of work for a generation.
The evidence is there: lo and behold and, hey presto!
The research shows that, over a 4 month period, claimants are:
- 13% more likely to have been in work than those on Jobseeker’s Allowance
- earning more money
What an achievement!
Similar to previous findings, the report also confirms that new Universal Credit claimants in the expanded sites are more likely than Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants to:
- believe the benefit system is encouraging them to find work
- take any job they are able to do
- spend more time looking for work
We believe, we truly believe!
Once fully rolled out, Universal Credit will boost the economy by £7 billion every year.
Touch us with some of this star-dust Iain!
Universal Credit eventually replaces 6 existing income-based benefits – Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Working and Child Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.
Nay-sayers may care to revisit this article: Universal Credit: the anatomy of a government failure.
“Despite years of wasted money, political turmoil, Whitehall infighting, failed IT and departmental chaos, universal credit is being claimed by less than 4,000 individuals in the UK. What went wrong with the government’s flagship welfare reform?”
This, to be published next week, promises to be interesting: The Coalition Effect (essay), Nicholas Timmins.