Important issues that need to be addressed were highlighted in a report to ensure effective roll out of the Universal Credit programme.
The Social Security Advisory Committee’s report highlighted several different areas including in-work issues, self-employment, tax credits, childcare and housing costs.
Recommendations include setting up a specialist working group to show how the self-employed can benefit from Universal Credit , review of the treatment of second earnings, addressing the length of time to receive first payment and a coordinated approach to the funding and provision of childcare.
Paul Gray, committee chair said that “the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is now reaching a stage of the project where things are likely to become more testing as cases move up the scale of complexity, for example, more convoluted and unstable family arrangements and irregular self-employed earnings.
“The committee has produced several reports providing advice to the government on issues relating to Universal Credit over the past few years and we consider it to be timely to take stock of that earlier advice to identify some of the main unresolved issues and offer ideas for the government’s further consideration.”
The Universal Credit programme is available in over 260 jobcentres across the country and when rollout is complete, it will add £7million to the economy annually and benefit three million people.