Work and Pensions Committee inquiry: Universal Credit and ‘natural migration’

The Work and Pensions Committee has announced a new inquiry, launched January 2019, into what the Government calls ‘natural migration’ – the process by which people claiming existing benefits move onto Universal Credit if they have a change in their circumstances.

The deadline for submissions is 18 February 2019.

In a recent letter to the Secretary of State, the Committee expressed concern that the Government has failed to engage with the recommendations of its November 2018 report into migration onto Universal Credit. Noting that the Government has declined to act on the recommendation of the Committee, the National Audit Office and the Social Security Advisory Committee to set tests that it must meet before beginning ‘managed migration’, they said ‘this continued resistance is very disappointing’.

The Committee has also heard concerns that the Government hasn’t given clear enough information about the ‘triggers’ for this migration, and that a lack of transitional protection means people might have to cope suddenly with a drop in income.

In its inquiry, the Committee is inviting views from groups, individuals or organisations in response to any of the following questions:

  • Which groups of people stand to lose out most when they transfer to Universal Credit? What should the Government be doing to support those groups?
  • What does the lack of a comprehensive list of ‘triggers’ that can transfer people to Universal Credit mean in practice for claimants and the groups who support them? Should the Government produce a full list?
  • Are the existing ‘triggers’ for natural migration appropriate? If not, how should they be changed?
  • Has the Department for Work and Pensions done enough to help people to understand what changes in their circumstances might cause them to have to transfer to Universal Credit, and what that might mean for them? What more could it do?

Find out more and submit to the inquiry here.

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