Tories forced to again delay Universal Credit roll-out
After the Conservative's flagship welfare reform policy has run into numerous technical issues, leaked documents to the BBC have shown the DWP has now moved back plans to impliment Universal Credit in full by November 2020 at the earliest, and may not be in place until December 2023.
The secretary for work and pensions, Esther McVey, told parliament that the migration of claimants on to universal credit would not start until next summer, instead of the initial target of January next year.
“Under the process of managed migration, the rollout will be slow and measured,” she said on Monday. “It will start not in January 2019, but later in the year." she said.
“For a further year, we will be learning as we go with a small amount of people – maybe 10,000 – to ensure that the system is right. The rollout will then increase from 2020 onwards. It will be slow and measured, and we will adapt and change as we go.”
Scottish Labour MP Danielle Rowley, said the delay was the "absolute least" that the government should do, and called for an immediate halt to the policy.
"The roll out of Universal Credit has become indefensible. Former Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and John Major warned this would be a Poll tax moment for the Tories, and even Esther McVey herself admitted people would be worse off under the scheme." added Rowley.
"After months of pressing ahead in the face of the evidence, delaying the roll out is the absolute least we should see from this government. "
“The Tories must stop the roll out of Universal Credit immediately, and deliver urgent answers on how they plan to tackle the many flaws in the system."
In a statement, the Department for Work and Pensions said "we do not comment on leaks", and claimed that it planned "a slow and measured approach to managed migration [to Universal Credit]...to ensure the system is working well for claimants and to make any necessary adaptations as we go"."
"We will publish full plans for the next stage of universal credit rollout, including managed migration, in due course. Anything before that point is speculation and we do not comment on leaks."