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Seventy organisations, including councils, charities,
trades unions, business groups and housing organisations, have
raised concerns about the new benefit, Universal Credit, which will
replace several work-based benefits from next year.
The groups, which have submitted written evidence to the House
of Commons Work and Pensions Committee are worried about new
monthly payments, access to an online system and whether the
information technology needed will be ready. They are
also concerned about the impact of the changes on vulnerable
groups - including single parents; people who do not use the
internet; and those living in domestic violence refuges.
Ministers say the online system replaces a "costly, outdated"
one and the benefit is set to come in on time.
They describe Universal Credit as "the most radical redesign of
the benefits system this country has ever seen," saying it pays
people to work rather than claim benefits.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman also said that
"face to face and telephone support would be available to people
struggling to access the Universal Credit system online."
Read the Turn2us information sheet on Universal
Sources: BBC News (link opens in a
new window) and
The Guardian (link opens in a new window)
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