Head of the DWP Amber Rudd has told MPs that she expects a further 1.6 million people to be transferred to Universal Credit by Christmas 2019, more than doubling the number of claimants on the system – despite reports that the rollout would be delayed due to concerns regarding the “catastrophic” effect of the system.
Rudd was previously forced to sideline plans to move up to 3 million people onto the system, which has received strong backlash by everyone from claimants to charities but was forced to drop the idea in fears that MPs would shoot down the move in the Commons.
Now, per the Mirror, Rudd plans to oversee the move of 10,000 claimants onto Universal Credit, who will be carefully monitored, before presenting the results to Parliament and restarting the rollout, which MPs will vote on instead.
It has now transpired that only existing claimants will be among the 10,000 who MPs will vote on, with all new claimants or those whose circumstances have changed being moved onto Universal Credit, resulting in even more people being forced to use the benefits system.
Despite the October budget offering managed migration as a way to alleviate the problems with the system – including long waits before payments – it has been reported that due to the sheer number of claimants, this system may not even be capable of helping support new Universal Credit claimants.
Compounding fears of open rebellion within the Conservatives, Tory MP Heidi Allen warned the Commons that the party may not have “sufficiently considered” claimants.
She said: “I am dealing with cases where a seemingly harmless change has resulted in claimants suddenly and unpredictably being hundreds of pounds worse off each month.
“I urge the Secretary of State to look at what can be done to offer the same level of transitional protection to those [people].”Get your copy of UNITE Magazine