Briefing: Universal Credit implementation: Monitoring DWP’s performance in 2012-13

In July 2013, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced major changes to the implementation timetable for Universal Credit (UC). In September 2013, the National Audit Office (NAO) identified a number of problems with UC implementation.

The Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) decided to explore the likely impact of the development problems identified by the NAO. This report, published by the WPC on 9 April 2014, assesses some of the implications of the delays in UC implementation for claimants, for value achieved for public money, and prospects for more effective delivery of the UC programme. It also sets out the revised timetable for UC implementation.

The delays in UC implementation have important consequences for local authorities with responsibility for the administration of Housing Benefit, which is meant to transfer to the DWP when it becomes part of UC. Further difficulties have been created for local authorities over the lack of clarity in the funding and purposes of the Local Support Services Framework (LSSF), which is meant to support vulnerable claimants during the transition to the new system.

This briefing will be of interest to members and officers with an interest in housing and welfare reform.

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