The full roll-out of Universal Credit is set to reach Harrow next April, but we have seen too much evidence already from other parts of the country of the disastrous impact this is having on many people. That's why Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West has written to Work and Pensions Secretary, David Gauke, and the the DWP to delay the full roll-out of Universal Credit. It is clear that the system has been strained to the limit at a time when Universal Credit is being rolled out to just 5 new areas per month. Yet Gauke recently insisted that “Universal Credit is working” and will continue to roll out to 55 Job centres a month from now on.
Government figures currently show 23% of claimants are not receiving full payments in 6 weeks, leaving many in rent arrears and causing people on low incomes to fall into further debts.
In just three London boroughs where Universal Credit has already been fully introduced, more people are at risk of homelessness, with £8 million in rent arrears accrued, and 2500 claimants at risk of eviction.
Mr Thomas said: "It’s important the Minister takes the opportunity to pause the roll out, before we see additional problems and greater economic hardship for claimants across the country, and that is why I am writing to the Minister to make this case."