New Universal Credit delay announced


The government announced a delay to the roll-out of Universal Credit and that full implementation will not be completed until March 2022. This will put the reforms five years behind its original projected finish date of 2017. Universal Credit replaces six current benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit and Child Tax Credit, and merges them into a single payment.

The new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damien Green, said in a written statement: “I believe this plan is the best way to ensure secure delivery of the government’s welfare reform priorities, increasing employment outcomes and supporting claimants at an affordable cost for the taxpayer.”

Announced in 2010 by the coalition Government, Universal Credit had originally been set for completion by 2017 but has been delayed several times due to various hurdles including IT glitches and a strike by workers. Currently just 280,000 claimants are on the system, compared to an original target of 6 million people. The purpose of Universal Credit is to streamline the benefits process and migrate around 7 million people onto the single payment - and, once completed, will process £53 billion a year in benefit payments.

What help is available if you are struggling on a low income?

Read our guides for more information about Universal Credit.

You can also use our free Benefits Calculator to check your benefits entitlements. Even if you have checked before, it is worth checking again, especially if there has been a change in your circumstances. You can also search to see if you are eligible for a charitable grant or other support by using the Turn2us Grants Search.

You can get further details on all the upcoming benefit changes on the Turn2us Benefits Changes Timetable 2016.

If you are worried about any recent or upcoming benefit changes and would like further advice, you can use the Turn2us Find an Adviser tool to locate face-to-face advice in your local area.

Source: Parliament UK: Written statement (20 July 2016) by Damien Green MP on Universal Credit