Halt universal credit now and put in a safety net, critics say

Ministers have come under renewed pressure to pause their universal credit welfare scheme after their former social integration adviser said that its introduction would lead to claimants effectively “jumping over a cliff”.

Dame Louise Casey, the former head of the government’s troubled families team, said that the extension of the scheme, which merges six benefits into one, should be put on hold and a “safety net” installed to ensure that recipients were not left for weeks without payment.

The changes have been described as a “disaster waiting to happen” by campaigners and yesterday 12 Conservative MPs wrote to David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, urging him to pause plans to increase the number of jobcentres paying the benefit.

The backbench rebellion is led by Heidi Allen and supported by Andrew Selous, a former parliamentary private secretary to Iain Duncan Smith, who as a minister devised the scheme.

Read on… https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/halt-universal-credit-now-and-put-in-a-safety-net-critics-say-5p93thpzz

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