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TUC response to the inquiry on Universal Credit and the wait for the first payment

Anjum Klair
Policy officer
Report type
Research and reports
Issue date
About our response

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry on Universal Credit and the wait for the first payment. The experience of those claiming Universal Credit is of particular interest to us, as social security has an enormous impact on the living standards of working people.

The introduction of Universal Credit is one of the most significant social security reforms in recent decades. The TUC believes that Universal Credit based on its current design, and on the experience of the roll out so far, is not fit for purpose. Such is the concern of trade unionists that our democratically agreed policy position is for Universal Credit to be stopped and scrapped altogether.

Evidence of Universal Credit’s failures is well documented. Along with the five week wait, there are difficulties in registering a claim online, payment delays, financial hardship and the increased use of food banks.

And it is not just the delivery of Universal Credit; there are serious issues with the design and the policy of Universal Credit embedded within the new system. This includes the rigidity of the monthly assessment periods not working for all claimants, questions on the notion of ‘making work pay’, and the lack of detail on how in-work conditionality will work in practice.

Download TUC response (PDF)

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