To be moved by Councillor Paula Boshell and seconded by Councillor Barbara Bentham.
This Council believes that the Universal Credit process is flawed and causing unnecessary hardship to local families.
We note that Universal Credit was deliberately introduced on a slow rollout so that any issues could be seen and corrected before the benefit was introduced to all claimants.
The evidence of this council as a pilot and others across the country is that Universal Credit is causing huge increases in rent arrears and in general debt levels amongst claimants, many of whom have never been in debt before. In addition we note the trend that landlords are refusing to accept tenants receiving Universal Credit, leading to an increase in those registering as homeless and seeking temporary accommodation.
While we welcome the removal of benefit help line charges this Council resolves to write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, making these points, requesting that the Government addresses these issues, and that the roll-out is halted until the problems are fixed.
15th November 2017