The vast majority of families will gain nothing from the introduction of the Universal Credit, the Government’s flagship welfare reform scheme, a report claims today.
A trial of the payment, which replaces six benefits and tax credits, began this month ahead of its introduction worldwide.
In a joint report, the TUC and Child Poverty Action Group said nine out of 10 families will gain nothing overall from the new system, with any gains wiped out by recent benefits cuts. They claimed that disabled claimants in low-paid jobs could lose as much as £2,800 a year.
They also warned that requiring applicants to claim online and to make joint claims with their partners would complicate the process at a time when advice services are being cut.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: “For all the claims of simplicity, in practice it is such a complex system that the Government has been forced to delay its roll-out.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said Universal Credit would boost the incomes of three million households. He said it would “make it easier for people to move off benefits and into work and will ensure work always pays”.