Work and Pensions Committee

Universal Credit rollout inquiry

Inquiry status: open

Deadline for written submissions was Thursday 19 October 2017.

Scope of the inquiry

DWP's preparedness for the scheduled acceleration of the rollout of full service Universal Credit from October 2017, including waits for payments, advance payments, impact on and communication with local authorities and landlords, Alternative Payment Arrangements, the effects of planned Jobcentre closures and the proposed flexible arrangements in Scotland.

Call for written submissions

The Committee invites submissions on the ongoing rollout of the full Universal Credit service. The previous Work and Pensions Committee’s work in this area was cut short by the general election.

Submissions made to the Committee in the previous Parliament (Universal Credit update) can be used in this inquiry, and do not need to be resubmitted. Updates are, however, very welcome.

The Committee is particularly interested in receiving updates and new submissions on developments since April 2017 and recommendations for policy change on the following points:

  • What have been the effects of the introduction of full Universal Credit service in areas where it has replaced the live service?
  • How long are people waiting for their Universal Credit claim to be processed, why, and what impact is this having on them?
  • Is the advance payment system appropriate and is there adequate awareness of its availability?
  • How are claimants managing with being paid Universal Credit monthly in arrears? Is the Alternative Payment Arrangements system working effectively?
  • Has Universal Credit improved the accuracy of a) payments and b) registration of claims?
  • What impact is Universal Credit having on rent arrears, what effect is this having on landlords and claimants, and how could the situation be improved?Does Universal Credit provide people in emergency temporary accommodation with the support they need? If not, how could this be improved?
  • What impact is Universal Credit having on the income and costs of local authorities, housing associations, charities and other local organisations?How well is Universal Support working, and how could it been improved?
  • What effect will the scheduled Jobcentre Plus closure and relocation programme have on the operation of Universal Credit?
  • Is the roll-out schedule appropriate?

In June 2017, the Scottish Government published its response to the consultation on introducing new flexibilities to Universal Credit claims and payments (PDF 295KB) in Scotland. In light of this publication, the Committee also seeks submissions on the following points:

  • What steps are Scottish local authorities taking to prepare to implement the new flexibilities, and do they anticipate any difficulty in doing so?
  • What is the anticipated impact of the new flexibilities on claimant and housing provider experiences with Universal Credit?
  • Is there a case for introducing the flexibilities elsewhere in UK?

Latest evidence

  • 18 Oct 2017 - Work and Pensions Committee - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF278 KB) HC 336 | Published 26 Oct 2017

    Evidence given by Rt Hon David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Neil Couling CBE, Director, Universal Credit Programme, Department for Work and Pensions.

    Watch this evidence session
  • 13 Sep 2017 - Universal Credit rollout - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF248 KB) HC 336 | Published 25 Sep 2017

    Evidence given by Councillor Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, Southwark Council, Councillor Jane Corbett, Assistant Mayor of Liverpool and Mayoral Lead on Fairness and Tackling Poverty, Liverpool City Council, Donna Gallagher, Universal Credit Implementation Manager, Your Homes Newcastle, Nicky Kingston, Area Manager, Incomes Team, Plymouth Community HomesJeremy Hewer, Policy Advisor, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Kayley Hignell, Head of Policy (welfare, work and family), Citizens Advice, Richard Roberts, Manager, Wirral Foodbank, Nicola Smith, Advice Services Manager, Citizens Advice Southwark, Natalie Williamson, Senior Policy Officer, Residential Landlords Association

Next meeting(s)

29 November 2017 9:30 am

Oral Evidence Session

Universal Credit rollout
View details

David Finch, Senior Economic Analyst, Resolution Foundation
Deven Ghelani, Director, Policy in Practice
Andrew Hood, Senior Research Economist, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Victoria Todd, Senior Technical Manager, Low Incomes Tax Reform Group


The Wilson Room, Portcullis House

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