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That this House notes that the Welfare Reform Act 2012 provides for the introduction of a universal credit to replace a range of existing means-tested benefits and tax credits for millions of people of working age, starting from 2013; records that 20,000 housing benefit staff currently handle such casework for local residents; shares the Communities and Local Government Select Committee's concerns outlined in its report, Localisation issues in welfare reform, HC 1406, published in October 2011 regarding the changes to delivery mechanisms particularly for housing costs; believes that it is important that claimants can speak in person to local housing staff to ask questions, resolve issues and assist in complex applications in order to avoid errors and verify all official personal documents face-to-face; and is convinced that local delivery and a continuing local authority role in benefit applications will be critical for the successful delivery of the universal credit.
Total number of signatures: 21
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