Paul Gray: On universal credit, ministers were wrong to ignore us

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Paul Gray: On universal credit, ministers were wrong to ignore us

Post by Non Deficere on Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:31 pm

After eight years of difficulty and controversy, universal credit may well be about to move into an even more fraught phase, suggests Paul Gray, who has just stepped down after six years as chair of the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) social security advisory committee (SSAC).

Up to 3 million people will start to be “migrated” on to the new benefit system next year. And Gray, who as a senior civil servant was closely involved in the rollout of tax credits under a Labour government, says the potential operational and political risks for universal credit (UC) are huge: “This is where it gets really serious.”

If ministers do not heed the lessons of the past few years, the migration process, he reckons, could trigger more strife. As well as the sheer numbers moving on to the new system, they include working people on tax credits who will have to adapt very quickly to a complex and, for many people, less generous new system – and if they don’t, they will face penalties.
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