Another upside to Universal Credit is the relatively generous system of earnings disregards for people with children or disabilities – claimants will be able to keep substantially more of their earnings than under current rules, and in my next blog I will show you how this will work.
A flexible realtime system
Whatever public reaction is to the details of the new regime, the success or failure of Universal Credit may well hinge on the success of the IT systems being developed within HMRC. The intention of the ‘Real Time’ information system should eventually ensure that earnings details are sent on a monthly basis from employers to HMRC to the DWP, who will then use these details to work out that month’s Universal Credit entitlement. If it works, that would be amazing, as people will no longer be caught by overpayments and underpayments, with all the hassle and bureaucracy that entails.
In future blogs, I will explain how Universal Credit is likely to be calculated, paid and administered. At the moment, we are waiting for Parliament to give its final assent to the draft regulations, and then the pilot schemes can begin. As the year unfolds, and the pilot schemes start to report back on the glitches and hassles, then we will have a better idea of the likely timetable for the rest of the country, and I will let you know when Universal Credit will be coming to a town near you!
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