Crisis concerned Universal Credit will cause real hardship
Crisis has outlined its concerns at how Universal Credit - the Government's new, simplified benefits system - will work in practice once it is introduced in October 2013.
In response to a Social Security Advisory Committee consultation, Crisis welcomed the introduction of Universal Credit, but warned if Government does not make amendments to how the new system will operate, it will cause real problems and hardship for vulnerable people, potentially leading to an increase in homelessness.
In particular, Crisis is concerned that:
- Universal Credit will penalise young people who are out of work and staying at home, which at a time of high unemployment could lead to an increase in family tensions, relationship breakdown and youth homelessness.
- Universal Credit will fail to protect households that have suffered bereavement or redundancy, as current protections will be reduced or withdrawn altogether.
- Universal Credit will lead to an increase in financial difficulties, particularly for those used to being paid weekly, those vulnerable due to drug or alcohol problems and those whose circumstances change mid-month.