Press release

Universal Credit makes work pay

The national roll out of Universal Credit begins on 16 February 2015.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Universal Credit

Jobcentres, from the rural Highlands of Scotland, down through the Vale of York and into London, are moving over to the new benefit.

As part of the accelerated roll out announced by the Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith in September, over 150 Jobcentres will come on board in the next 2 months. It will then be available in all Jobcentres by this time next year.

And on the eve of this national roll out, new research shows that Universal Credit is getting people into work more quickly and so helping them to earn more.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith said:

This government’s welfare reforms have saved the taxpayer £50 billion and restored fairness to the system.

The centrepiece of these reforms – Universal Credit – begins national roll out tomorrow. This landmark event is a key part of our long term economic plan, which guarantees you will always be better off in work than on benefits.

The evidence today shows that under Universal Credit, people move into work more quickly and earn more money, giving them increased financial security. It is very impressive that we have seen these results so soon and that this is having a real impact on people’s lives. This is a cultural change which will alter the landscape of work for a generation.

What is Universal Credit?

The research shows that, over a 4 month period, claimants are:

  • 13% more likely to have been in work than those on Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • earning more money

Similar to previous findings, the report also confirms that new Universal Credit claimants in the expanded sites are more likely than Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants to:

  • believe the benefit system is encouraging them to find work
  • take any job they are able to do
  • spend more time looking for work

Once fully rolled out, Universal Credit will boost the economy by £7 billion every year.

Universal Credit eventually replaces 6 existing income-based benefits – Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Working and Child Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.

The research

The research was carried out by tracking claimants from July 2013 to April 2014 in the areas of:

  • Warrington
  • Wigan
  • Oldham
  • Ashton-under-Lyne

These results based on income data from Real Time Information (RTI) were compared to a similar group of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants.

Universal Credit claims

More than 50,000 people have already made a claim to Universal Credit. It is available in 96 jobcentres including all of the north-west and is available to couples too. Claims from families and lone parents are also being taken in 32 sites.

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Published 15 February 2015