The results of the latest ARCH/NFA Welfare Reform survey were
published on 25 July 2017 in our report 'Pause for thought'.
Following publication of our report which highlighted
significant concerns about the impact of the Government's welfare
reforms on tenants and local authority landlords we met with the
National Audit Office (NAO) on 16 August, at their invitation, to
discuss our findings in more detail.
The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) is due to increase
the pace of roll-out of Universal Credit from October 2017, so that
full service will be available to new claimants in all jobcentres
by September 2018. The Department then plans to transfer existing
claimants to Universal Credit by March 2022.
Universal Credit is a single benefit for working age people both
in and out of work, which replaces six existing means-tested
benefits and tax credits. It is available to all eligible claimants
through the Universal Credit full service.
In our report on the findings of our latest welfare reform
survey we voiced strong concerns at the Government's plans to
accelerate the roll out of Universal Credit and called on
Government to pause the roll out of Universal Credit until some of
the issues identified in our report are resolved.
The NAO have launched a study to examine whether the DWP is on
course to deliver Universal Credit in accordance with its plans.
The Study will also assess whether there are early signs that
Universal Credit is delivering its objectives, and what impact it
is having both on claimants and on local authorities, housing
associations, landlords and other stakeholders. Details of the NAO
study are available on the NAO website.
This study follows two previous NAO reports: Universal Credit: early progress (September
2013) and Universal Credit: progress update (November
If ARCH members would like to provide evidence for the NAO study
they can do so by email to the study team on firstname.lastname@example.org
putting the study title in the subject line.
ARCH has also been contacted by Parliamentary Officials
submission earlier this year to the Work and Pensions Committee's
inquiry on Universal Credit.
Due to the dissolution of Parliament in May 2017, the Committee
did not publish a report on this inquiry. It did, however, write to the previous Secretary of State for Work
and Pensions highlighting substantial and widely-shared
concerns raised in written and oral evidence about Universal
Credit's operation and the impact of the accelerated rollout from
October. We understand that when the new Committee is fully
appointed and convened in September/October, they may well want to
It will be for the new Committee decide whether to conduct
further work on UC, the nature of any such work and whether to
publish submissions as evidence, however ARCH & the NFA
have submitted a copy of our latest report to Parliamentary
ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby comments:
"The fact that we are being approached by the National Audit
Office and Parliamentary officials supporting the Work &
Pensions Committee is evidence of ARCH' growing influence on the
national policy agenda and a testament to the quality of the work
we have done with the support of our members in producing Pause for
Thought - the latest in our series of reports on the impact of
welfare reform on tenants and local authority landlords."