Despite the government’s aim that Universal Credit will offer a simpler benefit system and tackle poverty, research has found that the reality is far from that. 79 per cent of claimants interviewed expressed negative experiences with the system. Stakeholders including local authority departments, voluntary sector organisations and social landlords felt burdened by the system.
This is according to an October 2019 report from the Child Poverty Action Group on the impact of Universal Credit on families in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
The report also finds that:
- Universal Credit worsened financial security amongst the majority of claimants, with nearly all stakeholders agreed that their clients’ income was not enough under universal credit.
- Subsequently, claimants were in debt and arrears as a result of Universal Credit.
- Children were negatively impacted by the system as claimants were making significant sacrifices for their children.
- The local council was forced to increased payments to ‘incentivise’ landlords to let to claimants on Universal Credit because Universal credit has led to landlords carrying significant arrears.
- Universal Credit has increased demand for advice from the advice sector and housing associations.