As many as one million children could suffer as a result of the ill-conceived schemeby Alison Garnham / September 29, 2017 / Leave a comment
The drip-drip supply of Universal Credit stories continues. On the eve of their party conference, the Daily Telegraph reports today, several Conservative MPs have broken ranks and called on the government to pause the Universal Credit roll-out, warning that the fall-out could be as bad as the Poll Tax.
Announced in 2010, this October was supposed to be Universal Credit’s finest hour, with the benefit fully rolled out. But as things stand, it’s reached only half a million people, just under ten per cent of its expected case load in the long run, and won’t be fully implemented until 2022 at the earliest.
Tragically, that’s the good news. Universal Credit, in its current form, is chaotic, flawed and—despite once being the government’s flagship anti-poverty policy—now poverty producing. Analysis by the Child Poverty Action Group published earlier this year shows that the cuts the government itself has made to the original version of Universal Credit will put a million children into poverty.
In its initial design, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) claimed Universal Credit would reduce child poverty by 350,000. That got revised down to 150,000 when its budget was salami-sliced by Coalition cuts.