View from the House: Universal Credit problems are on way

PUBLISHED: 08:20 06 September 2017


Universal Credit has been available to all working age benefit claimants in Tower Hamlets since March.

Next May, it will be available to all new claimants in Newham.

In principal, Universal Credit is a good idea. It amalgamates the main working age benefits - jobseekers allowance, employment and support allowance, housing benefit, tax credits - and has the potential to make the whole system simpler. It is paid to unemployed and employed people. It makes it easier for someone who is out of work to calculate how much better off they would be for getting a job.

Universal Credit was Iain Duncan Smith’s idea, but the Coalition Government wanted above all to cut government spending. The result is that some advantages of Universal Credit have been thrown away to save money.

For example, people in work will get much less help from Universal Credit than they gt from the tax credits which Gordon Brown introduced. The amount you are entitled to depends on your wages. Details are sent automatically to DWP through the PAYE tax system. Unfortunately, this seems to be prone to errors.

The worst aspect of Universal Credit for people who are not in work is the long wait before payment. You have to wait at least six weeks after losing your job. The government assumes everyone has money in the bank but many people don’t. Too often, they are kept waiting for longer, with disastrous results.

Advice workers in Tower Hamlets already have a long list of problems. From next May, the same problems will hit us. More from Stephen

Latest Newham Stories

Yesterday, 18:00

With a month to go until the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup returns to the Lee Valley Velopark in Stratford, the Great Britain squad for the next round in Berlin has been announced.

Yesterday, 16:40

Lakeside Hammers will not be running in the 2019 speedway season after the BSPA revealed plans for next season after hosting their annual AGM.

National League
Yesterday, 19:00

A police officer who assaulted a seller after trying to steal a pair of £200 headphones while drunk has been sacked.

Yesterday, 19:00

A police sergeant who drunkenly tried to steal a set of headphones, slapped his victim and then brandished his badge to scare him off seeking help has been fired from the force.

Metropolitan Police
Yesterday, 16:00

Texts from the phone of a teenager on trial for the murder of a 17-year-old describe him being “held up” on the evening of the killing, a court heart today.

Yesterday, 16:00

West Ham footballer Robert Snodgrass has donated £3,000 to help four-year-old Isla Caton from Hornchurch who has a rare form of cancer.

Yesterday, 13:47

Police, paramedics and London’s Air Ambulance scrambled to help a woman who fell into a marina in Royal Docks.

London Ambulance Service
Yesterday, 12:00

A motorist from Upton Park who gave police false details to try and swerve five speeding tickets has been fined and disqualified from driving.


Have you spent time as an unpaid carer? If you are over the age of 25 and living in Newham, the Working for Carers scheme can help you take the first steps back to employment.

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now