In response to confirmation from the Work and Pensions Secretary, David Gauke MP, that the rollout of Universal Credit will go ahead, Cllr Claire Kober OBE, Chair of London Councils, said:
“London Councils is disappointed that the government has failed to listen to the widespread concerns about the rollout of Universal Credit. While we support its principles, the London experience so far has been that it places both claimants and local authorities in a position of financial insecurity due to the six week waiting period and further delays in payments experienced by one in four claimants.
“The impact of this can be serious – a significant number of families claiming Universal Credit have fallen into rent arrears as a result of delayed payments, leaving them at risk of becoming homeless. Wider use of advance payments is welcome but will not tackle fundamental problems.
“It’s not too late to address local authorities’ concerns and deliver Universal Credit in a manner that promotes the social and economic welfare of claimants. We will continue to urge Government to reconsider the case for slowing down the Universal Credit rollout.”