Benefits shake-up delayed in Rugby

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The roll-out of Universal Credit in Rugby has been delayed until spring next year, the Government has announced.

Universal Credit is a new benefit that will replace six of the main means-tested benefits and tax credits including JSA, income support, ESA, tax credits, housing benefit and support for childcare costs.

The government has said the system will simplify the benefits system and mean a better deal for tax payers, but not everyone agrees with the policy.

Pete McLaren, spokesman for Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, said: “Despite any meaningful opposition from Labour, we will continue to campaign against Universal Credit.

“The Government itself estimates that 2.8 million current claimants will have lower entitlements.

“TUC research suggests that Universal Credit will make 62 per cent of those entitled to the benefit worse off, and just eight per cent better off.

“Universal Credit is aimed at getting people off benefits and into work, but this will simply not be possible with at least five people chasing every job.”

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey said: “Universal Credit is the most radical redesign of the benefits system this country has ever seen. At its heart is a principle, supported by the entire country, that people should be better off in work than on benefits. It’s introduction means that a hardworking family in Rugby will no longer be in the position that people on benefits are receiving more money than them.

“The Government does not underestimate the scale of the challenge involved in rolling out this fundamental transformation of the welfare system. The switch means changing working practices of many organisations and that is why it is vitally important that the Government continues with its gradual roll out of the scheme. It is entirely right that the Government is taking time to make sure it is implemented correctly.”