Universal Credit Reforms Going Too Far, Too Fast

Umbrella body for 500 homeless charities welcomes Work and Pensions Committee report.

A report published today, Universal Credit implementation: meeting the needs of vulnerable claimants”, by the Work and Pensions Committee warns that significant concerns remain about the potential impact of the Universal Credit changes on some of the most vulnerable benefit claimants.

Homeless Link welcomes the findings of the report. In its evidence to the committee, we and our members expressed concerns about the:

  • Rapid implementation of such a fundamental reform
  • Lack of plans to test the new system with vulnerable people who are homeless and have complex needs.
  • The need for vulnerable claimants to continue to have their rent paid direct to their landlord and the need to clarify how the support costs of people living in hostels and other supported accommodation will be met and ensure that those with high support needs are not impacted by the benefit cap

Welcoming the report, Jacqui McCluskey, Director of Policy and Communications for Homeless Link said:

“We hope the Government will implement these recommendations and take action to prevent the most vulnerable being hardest hit by the biggest welfare change in a generation.

“Many people may need significant support to apply for Universal Credit and manage their finances on a tight budget. 

“Some of the principles behind Universal Credit are right but change is being introduced so fast that vulnerable groups, such as the homeless, risk being left behind.

“There are just too many questions that remain unanswered and a lack of detail about how Universal Credit will work.

“We need to allow enough time for homeless people and those that support them to prepare and urge the Government to rethink their timescales.”