Universal Credit

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Universal Credit: What's gone wrong and can it be fixed?

How did universal credit come about, and why has its roll-out been delayed?
Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, this week announced that the next stage of the Universal Credit roll-out is to be scaled back amid concerns about the controversial new benefits system. 

So what were the origins of the Universal Credit policy and can its flaws be fixed?

CONTRIBUTORS

Roy Sainsbury -  Professor of Social Policy at the University of York

Baroness Philippa Stroud - former government advisor and CEO of the Legatum Institute

Kayley Hignell - Head of Policy for Family, Welfare and Work at Citizens Advice

Fran Bennett - Senior Research Fellow at the Department for Social Policy and Intervention at Oxford University

Torsten Bell -  Director of the Resolution Foundation

Deven Ghelani - Founder of Policy in Practice

Councils to hire extra staff to collect social housing rent

Helen Catt

Political editor, BBC South East

Four Kent councils are planning to pump almost £500,000 and hire a dozen extra staff, into collecting rent from their social housing next year because of issues with the government's universal credit scheme.

Thanet, Canterbury, Dover and Folkestone and Hythe, all say they've seen the number of tenants falling behind with their rent go up significantly since the introduction of the new benefit.

Across the four councils just 11% of tenants currently claim universal credit.

But these tenants account for 43% of all rent arrears.

Bob Porter, Head of Housing and Planning at Thanet District Council said: "Over the course of the last 18 months, which coincides with the rollout of universal credit, we've seen a significant increase in the amount of unpaid rent. There certainly is an impact."

British identity, Universal Credit and Brexit with Rowan Williams

British identity, Universal Credit and Brexit with Dr Rowan Williams
Former Archbishop of Canterbury says he’d like to see Article 50 revoked and talks Brexit, British identity and Universal Credit with Emily Maitlis.

Amber Rudd challenged over Universal Credit

Minister plays down decision to slow the roll-out of Universal Credit.
The Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, has insisted the new single benefit, Universal Credit, is "doing a good job" - despite a decision to scale back the next stage of its roll-out.  

MPs - including Conservatives - have complained that the new benefit is causing hardship among many of the people who've been transferred to it. Sean Dilley reports.

And you can hear more from Today in Parliament at 11.30pm on BBC Radio 4.