Universal Credit pilot begins in Greater Manchester

Published on Monday, 29 April 2013 09:24
Posted by Scott Buckler

A massive shake-up in the UK benefits system starts today, with the first claims being made for a new universal credit payment

Universal credit will merge several benefits and tax credits into one monthly payout.

It begins with a very small number of new claimants in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, but will eventually affect nearly six million people.The system relies on a complex computer system, with claims made online.

The benefit is for working age people looking for work, and will replace income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit, and housing benefit.

It is the central plank of a benefits overhaul, championed by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, which the government says will mean people are always better off in work than on benefits.

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