In her first major speech, new Secretary of State for Work &
Pensions, Amber Rudd has announced that the government will not
extend the two-child limit on Universal Credit for children born
before April 2017, when the policy came into effect, benefitting
around 15,000 families.
She has also said that she will introduce a pilot to migrate
10,000 people from 'legacy benefits' onto Universal Credit in a
test and learn approach before proceeding with plans to migrate
existing claimants onto Universal Credit. This pilot will have no
impact on the broader timetable for roll-out of Universal Credit,
which will be fully rolled out by the end 2023 as previously set
She also announced changes designed to make Universal Credit
fairer, including pilot schemes to provide more frequent payments
for new claimants, a new online system for private landlords and a
more flexible approach to childcare provisions.
It is understood these announcements are in addition to the £4.5
billion boost to the Universal Credit system announced in the 2018
Budget, which included a commitment to increase work allowances by
£1,000 a year for 2.4 million households, and provide £1 billion to
help people moving over from the old benefits system to Universal
Credit. The government says these changes will mean working parents
and people with disabilities claiming Universal Credit will be up
to £630 better off each year.
Speaking at a Jobcentre Plus in London on 11 January, she said
the new benefit system is a force for good for the majority, but
said greater flexibility is needed to ensure the system works for
"There is wide support for the principles we advocate - helping
people into work, making work pay, and providing support in times
of need. I want Universal Credit to gain further support as we roll
it out in practice.
This means delivering it in a way that meets the needs of
claimants, who come from every conceivable background and who have
incredible potential to achieve their ambitions."
Read the Secretary of State's full speech