Further delays to full Universal Credit roll out

universal_creditThe full roll-out of Universal Credit has been delayed until at least March 2022 after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced a revised timetable for the scheme.

The UK government’s flagship welfare reform, which replaces six current benefits with a single payment, was originally scheduled to be completed in 2017 but has been beset by IT delays and costs have spiralled.

Full roll-out of the scheme across the UK will now be at least a year later than planned.

Universal Credit was originally planned to be rolled out to 50 job centres a month in 2017, but this has been changed to five a month until June 2017. It will then increase to 30 per month in July and August, then after a break it is to increase to 55 a month from October – December 2017.

The DWP has also revised its plans for rollout in Scotland with five Highland job centres due to go live in November 2016 being replaced by job centres in Port Glasgow, Greenock and Kirkintilloch. The next job centres in Scotland to then go live will be Dalkeith and Penicuik in March 2017.

The revised scheduled, revealed in a written ministerial statement, is being attributed to extra work created by changes announced in the 2015 summer Budget, including limiting the child element of tax credits to two children.

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