A motion on Universal Credit, based on a motion supplied by the Liberal Democrat Group on Three Rivers District Council, is below.
Council agrees that the intention of Universal Credit (UC) to make benefits less complicated and to allow those in low paid work to keep more of their wages is a good idea, but believes that the evidence demonstrates that the Universal Credit process is flawed and causing unnecessary hardship to local families.
Council notes that UC was deliberately introduced on a slow rollout so that any issues could be seen and corrected before the benefit was introduced to all claimants.
Council further notes that the evidence of this council and others across the country is that UC 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, evidence demonstrates that most private landlords and even some housing associations are refusing to accept tenants receiving UC, leading to an increase in those registering as homeless and seeking temporary accommodation.
Council therefore 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.