Search

View from the house: Serious problems with UC

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 September 2018

Archant

Almost a year ago I wrote in this paper about my fears for families facing migration from old benefits to Universal Credit amidst the government’s “clumsy” rollout, which was causing “homelessness and hunger wherever it goes”.

With Universal Credit now established in Redbridge and recently rolled out in the Waltham Forest part of my constituency, now is a good time to review what progress the government has made since then.

Despite an important concession on advance payments and a roll back on premium-rate charges for calls to the helpline, the transition from existing benefits to UC is still traumatic in far too many cases.

Only 38 per cent of claimants have been able to complete the online identity check. Anybody with irregular paydays can expect to have their benefit stopped when the system identifies them as earning twice as much as they actually are.

Anybody with rent, council tax or utility bill arrears can have as much as 40pc deducted from their benefit award to pay back the debt. And assessment times are still a problem: one in six claimants are waiting longer than the maximum five weeks for their first payment, and they will not receive a penny until their eligibility has been confirmed.

The result of all of this is a situation much the same as I described a year ago.

This is concerning, not least because the DWP still has some work to do before the system is fully implemented. For the sake of the vulnerable, the government must pause to fix the serious problems remaining with Universal Credit.

Latest Ilford Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

The Buckinghamshire-based Rams will visit the capital on Saturday to take on National League leaders Leyton Orient

Yesterday, 17:08

Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal has pledged to make every effort to stop a former South Woodford vicarage and adjoining flats from being converted into a 24-person HMO.

Yesterday, 16:00

An Ilford shop owner caught with hundreds of packets of illegal cigarettes has been fined more than £4,500.

Yesterday, 16:00

Daggers have been knocked out in the first round in each of the last two seasons

Yesterday, 14:55

Volunteers from the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association (AHDA) used their recently purchased brushcutter to cut back the undergrowth around the 100-year-old fruit trees in the Dick Turpin Orchard ready for next year’s fruiting season.

Yesterday, 14:00

Herons lost 26-7 at Woodford last weekend

Yesterday, 13:00

The latest boxing news from Redbridge

Yesterday, 12:15

The latest five-year strategy for ending rough sleeping in the borough has been unveiled.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

Are you an unpaid carer aged 25 or over? Are you interested in working towards getting into or back into work? Do you need practical help and support to get ready for this big step? If your answer is yes to at least two of these questions read on.

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now