Delaying rollout of Universal Credit is a sensible step – but fundamental reforms still needed

Commenting on reports that the government is going to delay the final phase of the rollout of Universal Credit, and make reforms to its design – such as rolling on several benefit payments temporarily –Torsten Bell, Director of the Resolution Foundation, said:

“Delaying the mandatory movement of people onto Universal Credit is a sensible step. This will give the government more time to ensure the new system is working before two million, often vulnerable, households are told to apply for it. It may also save the government from a difficult vote in the middle of the Brexit debates this Autumn.

“This extra time should be used to ensure more people claiming Universal Credit receive support on time and in full. The government must also ensure that it bears the financial risk of moving from old benefits to Universal Credit, rather than passing it on to families.

“And more fundamental reforms are still needed. The £3bn of cuts to Work Allowances in Universal Credit, which mean that 3.2 million households will be worse off under the new system, should also be reversed.”