The timetable for Universal Credit

Taken together, two recent announcements point to an important concession in the plans for introducing Universal Credit. Initially the government planned to take all new claims and significant changes from October 2013. The current plan is first to run a pilot in Manchester and Cheshire, taking about 1500 claims a month for six months. The next six months will see a roll-out to one district in each region. All new claims will finally be taken by mid-2014, rather than October 2013 as planned. Both the testing and the delay are welcome; they reduce the potential for the kind of administrative crash that seemed to be looming. However, as the processes that are needed do not exist yet, it is difficult to say more about what this is all going to mean for claimants.

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