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Archive for November 2nd, 2011

Iain Duncan Smith sets out next steps for moving claimants onto Universal Credit

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has set out the Government’s timetable for moving 12 million benefit claimants onto the new Universal Credit benefit by 2017.

The Universal Credit IT programme has been reported to be progressing well with 30% of the new technology already complete and on budget.

Iain Duncan Smith said:

“Universal Credit is the most radical redesign of the benefits system this country has ever seen. From October 2013 it will replace the current costly, outdated process with a digital system, which will be simpler to use and make work pay for hundreds of thousands of people across the UK.

“The programme is on track and on time for implementing from 2013. We are already testing out the process on single and couple claimants, with stage one and two now complete. Stage 3 is starting ahead of time – to see how it works for families. And today we have set out our migration plans which will see nearly twelve million working age benefit claimants migrate onto the new benefits system by 2017.”

Updating the House of Lords in a Written Ministerial Statement, Lord Freud the Minister for Welfare Reform said:

“We recognise that the move from one welfare system to another needs to be carefully managed to ensure social outcomes are maximised and no-one is left without support, which is why we taking a phased approach to Universal Credit both in terms of moving people onto the benefit and ensuring that the systems are in place to deliver it.”

The move from the old benefit system to Universal Credit will take place in three phases over 4 years, ending in 2017.

Read more about the three phases of the transition.

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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CBI: Action for jobs

CBI publishes report with proposals to tackle unemployment

The CBI has called on the Government to introduce a new tax incentive to encourage companies to take on young unemployed people.

The CBI has launched a new report “Action for jobs: how to get the UK working”. Its proposals include a new Young Britain Credit worth £1500 for firms taking on an unemployed person aged 16-24 years. The CBI argue that this would cost £150 million a year but is affordable within the context of the Government’s deficit reduction plans.

Other proposals include:

  • Creating around 450 business ambassadors, one for each local area, to strengthen links between schools and businesses using successful schemes that build long-term partnerships;
  • Introducing a comprehensive “readiness for work” assessment for every unemployed person; and
  • Suspending, rather than completely cancelling benefits when someone initially takes a job to reduce the perceived risk of taking a short-term post.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:

“With unemployment rising, particularly among young people, now is the time for action for jobs.

“The best way of getting the UK working is to get the private sector motoring, but the labour market has been wracked by structural problems long before the recession struck that won’t be swept away by a return to growth.

“Our proposals are not exhaustive, but taken together would herald a major shift in the way we prepare youngsters for the world of work, provide support for companies to create and retain jobs, and ensure the benefits system makes work pay.”

Read the full Action for Jobs report

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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