Universal Credit: who are the losers?
Ian Duncan Smith’s speech on Universal Credit (UC) is now available on the DWP website. It claims that:
some 2.5 million households will get higher entitlements as a result of the move to Universal Credit.
The big question for me is who are the losers?
We will have to wait to see the detail of the White Paper before this question can be answered. Richard has already pointed out that new rules on harship payments will mean significant losses for some families with children. And there are many other potential losers. If, for example, the Government’s plans involve integrating Tax Credits into UC, then many working families on median incomes or above will be about to see very sharp reductions in their entitlements. If proposals involve integrating benefits that are currently universal, such as Carer’s Allowance, then means testing will mean that many carers lose their entitlement. And if plans involve sanctions for people who are currently in work – requiring them to increase their hours or lose their entitlements – those who can’t find more work will face significant cuts. Despite this morning’s spin, if cuts like these are coming it will be difficult for the Government to claim that everyone gains.