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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit migration  →  Thread

Full rollout of universal credit delayed to September 2024

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shawn mach
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From the BBC:

Full rollout of universal credit delayed again, to September 2024 (adding £500m to its overall cost) ... DWP says not enough people are moving to the new benefit as they are “scared”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51318730

shawn mach
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And so, according to the BBC report, this was decided more than 4 months ago:

Neil Couling, the senior civil servant in charge of the rollout for the past five years, is filmed telling a Whitehall meeting: “We’ve got a lot of anecdotal evidence of people being scared to come to universal credit.

“It’s a potentially serious issue for us, in terms of completing the project by December 2023, but I’m urging people not to panic.”

But a few weeks later, in September 2019, he decides to delay full rollout to September 2024, putting £500m on the bill.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51318730

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Surely Mr Couling has to go?

Peter Turville
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Benny Fitzpatrick - 04 February 2020 09:11 AM

Surely Mr Couling has to go?

Does he not get a nice bonus for carrying the can for successive Secretaries of State and being the butt of our informed observations on the ill conceived conceit that is UC? One would assume that when he leaves the civil service (after the required period) he could look forward to a consultancy role with a company providing other IT ‘solutions’ to the public sector?

Charles
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Neil Couling has said on twitter that the extra £500m is extra expenditure on benefits, not project costs.

Now perhaps I’m being thick, but can anyone explain how “people being scared to come to universal credit” leads to more money being spent?

Surely the ‘scared’ people are people not entitled to full legacy benefits, but who still refuse to claim UC, no?

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Charles - 04 February 2020 09:44 AM

Neil Couling has said on twitter that the extra £500m is extra expenditure on benefits, not project costs.

Now perhaps I’m being thick, but can anyone explain how “people being scared to come to universal credit” leads to more money being spent?

Surely the ‘scared’ people are people not entitled to full legacy benefits, but who still refuse to claim UC, no?

All those mixed age pension couples, where the government stood to save up to £140.00/week, and who will now stay on legacy benefits?

All the premiums and credits they will now have to pay for longer?

Atif Kaudri
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It had to come out after the election!

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Atif Kaudri - 04 February 2020 09:50 AM

It had to come out after the election!

Yeah. Along with all the other broken promises (lies).

Charles
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Benny Fitzpatrick - 04 February 2020 09:47 AM

All those mixed age pension couples, where the government stood to save up to £140.00/week, and who will now stay on legacy benefits?

All the premiums and credits they will now have to pay for longer?

but mixed-age couples aren’t going to be transferred, and any extra premiums/credits will be paid through transitional protection.
There will be a small amount of extra expenditure on people who would have first became entitled to an extra premium only after being transferred, but that surely can’t be worth £500m…

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Perhaps is the cost of the propaganda and coercion to which we will now likely be subjected?

Timothy Seaside
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Charles - 04 February 2020 09:44 AM

Neil Couling has said on twitter that the extra £500m is extra expenditure on benefits, not project costs.

Now perhaps I’m being thick, but can anyone explain how “people being scared to come to universal credit” leads to more money being spent?

Surely the ‘scared’ people are people not entitled to full legacy benefits, but who still refuse to claim UC, no?

Quite a few of us have heard of clients on legacy benefits being advised by JCP that they should (or must) claim UC, without doing any sort of better off calculation. So perhaps the “scared” (sensible) people are people who are entitled to legacy benefits, and who would lose out by going over to UC? e.g. People who are subject to the benefit cap but receive more than the cap amount in IS, CTC, etc.

And perhaps the £500m figure is spread out over the whole of the expected roll-out period - so that would only be about £1m per year?

HB Anorak
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I think it is based on the optimistic assumption that being on UC miraculously gets you a well-paid job where you don’t qualify for benefit, or at least nothing like as much as before.  Delaying managed migration means that more existing claimants will miss out on finding work.

Even if that were true, as time goes by the remaining legacy caseload consists largely of people who are not in a position to work: people in the ESA support group and carers.

Andrew Dutton
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‘Neil Couling, the senior civil servant in charge of the rollout for the past five years, is filmed telling a Whitehall meeting: “We’ve got a lot of anecdotal evidence of people being scared to come to universal credit.’

Prepare for the blame for the delay to be placed on critics of UC. “It’s not us, it’s them: UC is perfect but they’ve got people frightened about it.”

In the Independent it says: [DWP] attributed the latest delay in part to the robustness of the labour market, which has meant that fewer people than expected experienced a change in circumstances, leaving 900,000 more people than expected claiming the old benefits
(...)
A DWP spokesman added: “This will result in transitional protection for a further 900,000 people, which will cost around £500 million over the next five years.”

HB Anorak
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Andrew Dutton - 04 February 2020 10:58 AM

[DWP] attributed the latest delay in part to the robustness of the labour market, which has meant that fewer people than expected experienced a change in circumstances, leaving 900,000 more people than expected claiming the old benefits
(...)
A DWP spokesman added: “This will result in transitional protection for a further 900,000 people, which will cost around £500 million over the next five years.”

That makes no sense at all.  What sort of change of circumstance would cause somebody who was in work on legacy benefits to qualify for less benefit than before upon natural migration to UC?  They seem to be saying that there is less “churn” in the labour market with more people than expected in stable employment and happily claiming Tax Credits every year, whereas if these people had lost their jobs they would have claimed UC and ended up with less benefit than when they were on Tax Credits?  I don’t think so.  And given that working renters on the whole qualify for more UC than legacy benefit, the transitional protection argument doesn’t work for them.  People in work who don’t pay rent tend to do slightly worse on UC at the higher end of the income scale - so they would be in line for transitional protection if they undergo managed migration.  They will be doing some heavy lifting to account for net additional spending of £500m.

Andrew Dutton
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It’s all very strange.

Are they also saying that not enough people are moving in to a new LA area so they can be made to claim UC?

And if the labour market is so good, why are people not flooding in to new jobs and thus on to UC?

I’m left wondering if their 13 people in Harrogate have told them something rather chilling….

shawn mach
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Still time to respond to the NAO’s survey of people’s experience of making a claim and getting to the first payment

https://surveygizmo.eu/s3/90191154/Universal-Credit-Getting-to-first-payment

Deadline for responses is 10 February 2020 ...