Universal Credit. This is right up my alley and I know a thing or two about this (possibly three). Universal Credit is being officially rolled out today. It is part of the recent and BIGGEST welfare benefit overhaul since the 1940’s. This one benefit will replace: Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Council Tax Credit, Employment Support Allowance and Income Support. Good Grief.
The Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith says that too many people are trapped on benefits. Finally, a politician/MP that makes sense. We’ve been waiting for you Ian. The new changes are designed to make work pay instead of people seeing their income drop when they migrate from benefits into low paid work. Sometimes (most times) people are better off remaining on benefits than going to work. In short, by not working they are actually getting MORE money in the benefits they receive. Not much incentive then to go to work is it?
Also, Universal Credit will be paid monthly (most benefits are paid every fortnight/every 2 weeks). Further, if you get help with your rent (Housing Benefits) the money previously used to go straight to your landlord. Now, the money will go to you and you will have to pay your landlord. Welcome to the land of budgeting. We all have to do it.
The benefits systems is pretty generous here but it is better to work than receive hand outs. In my opinion of course.