Iain Duncan Smith Welcomes Record Universal Credit Applications23 June 2015
Iain Duncan Smith has welcomed new figures that show a record number of people applying for the Universal Credit. According to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), in May over 3,800 new applications were made a week for the government’s new benefit system.
Introduced by work and pensions secretary Duncan Smith under the coalition government, Universal Credit rolls six means-tested benefits and tax credits into one payment. It was piloted in some areas in 2013.
Duncan Smith told The Huffington Post: “Universal Credit is restoring fairness to the welfare system and making sure work always pays – and today marks another milestone in the national roll out.
“Already we can see the clear benefits of the new system, with people on Universal Credit moving into work faster and staying in work longer. By providing that clear incentive to move off benefits and into a job, Universal Credit is transforming lives: encouraging and supporting people to gain the dignity and economic security that earning a wage brings.”
According to the government, the new benefit is now available at 45% of all Jobcentres and will be available everywhere by the end of spring 2016. DWP argues it will reduce unemployment by 300,000, make 3 million households better off by £2,000 a year and add £7bn annually to the economy.