Universal Credit

Amber Rudd the Department of Work and Pensions Secretary has recently written to me stating:

"Universal Credit is a vital reform to deliver a fair and compassionate welfare system that helps people into work. It overhauls the broken legacy system, which trapped people out of work with its complex and confusing mix of tax credits and benefits. It is a force for good that I am determined to ensure works for all claimants – to provide the route to a better life.

Managed migration
2019 is a milestone year for Universal Credit; 1.4 million claimants are now receiving the benefit, which is now in every jobcentre in the country. This year we will now begin delivering the next phase of the roll out – Managed Migration.

Managed Migration will allow the Government to move claimants off existing legacy benefits onto Universal Credit; otherwise, only a change in the claimant’s circumstances requiring them to make a new claim to benefit would have caused them to make a claim to the new system.
We are fully committed to getting this right: I have said today that I will not rush to move people onto Universal Credit, and will proceed with the utmost care and attention.

To make good on this, I will change the current draft regulations that would allow the Department to migrate all legacy claimants across - and only seek powers for a pilot of managed migration so that the Department cannot issue any more migration notices once 10,000 people have been awarded Universal Credit through this process. Following this pilot, the Government will report on our findings from the pilot before bringing forward legislation to extend managed migration.

This will not affect the proposed timetable for delivering Universal Credit. Managed Migration will begin, as planned, from July 2019 and end, as planned, in 2023 - and we will uphold our commitments to protect claimants receiving the Severe Disability Premium. We will plan this process in conjunction with charities, experts and claimants. Everyone moved through Managed Migration will be eligible for transitional protection, worth £3 billion in total.

Two-child policy
I have also announced today that I will remove the planned extension of the two-child policy within Universal Credit, which would have applied this policy to children who were born before it came into effect.

As you may be aware, since April 2017, support through Child Tax Credits and Universal Credit has been provided for a maximum of two children. Currently, this policy only applies to children born after 6 April 2017; however, on 1 February 2019 this was due to be extended to apply to all new claims to Universal Credit (regardless of the birth date of children concerned).

Removing this extension provides fairness to families and taxpayers. It restores the original intent of the policy, that parents receiving Universal Credit should face the same choices as those in work. This change to the policy will provide £250 million of support over the next five years. I feel strongly about supporting these families, and demonstrating that the real value of Universal Credit is to help them move into work at the earliest opportunity.
This follows steady investment in Universal Credit, adding £4.5 billion in the last budget, following the extra £1.5 billion allocated in 2017 - giving claimants more money as they transition to Universal Credit."