Promises Promises: Is the New System Really Better, as the Government Says?

Universal Credit makes two big promises:

  • “The system is simpler”: Like anything new, it certainly doesn’t feel like it to start with. The jury is still out on whether it gets simpler over time
  • “Everyone will be better off in work”: Campaign groups say there are definitely certain groups who are worse off on UC. But while the old system would deduct almost anything we earned off our benefits, Universal Credit does this more slowly. For most of us, it takes 63p off our benefit for every pound we earn. People with children or extra challenges to getting work have an allowance that allows them to earn a certain amount before anything is deducted. Initial research suggests most workers will be better off as they take on a job but we are watching this closely
  • Some cuts to benefits have come in as UC is rolled out, making it appear that people are worse off on UC. This is not always the system’s fault

Read more about better off in work.