On 7th December 2015 I quizzed the Secretary for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, on some of the key issues that will be faced by claimants when they are switched to universal credit.
I asked him about the losses to work allowance that some claimants my suffer, and pressed him on why there is no support for claimants moving to universal credit.
A report published last week by the OBR (pdf) shows that cuts to Universal Credit will have an immediate impact on working families come April next year. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2.6 million working families will lose an average of £1,600 a year as a result of cuts to universal credit, and single parent households will be even worse off, losing up to £2,500 a year as a result of the cuts.
In response to my questioning, the Secretary confirmed that people already on Universal Credit will receive support during the process.
The full question I asked was:
“I invite the Secretary of State to confirm that current claimants of Universal Credit will face losses next April as a result of cuts to the work allowance. Can he explain to the House why there is no transitional protection for Universal Credit, as there is for tax credit recipients?”
The Secretary for Work and Pensions response was:
“I thought I had made this clear, but I will make it clear again. For those already on universal credit, advisers will support them through the additional resources and the flexible support fund to ensure that their status remains the same. Those moving from tax credit to universal credit are transitionally protected, as has already been stated.”
You can watch the full debate here: