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Universal Credit: Implications for devolved policies and services

November 5th 2018

Universal Credit has hit the headlines recently because of the significant delays and hardship it can cause. It also has important implications for devolved policies and services that require the Welsh Government to step up its action.

Universal Credit has been described as the biggest shake-up to social security in a generation. Although only a small proportion of households is currently in receipt of UC, nearly a third of all households in Wales is expected to get it when it is fully rolled-out.

Universal Credit is not devolved, but it affects many policies and services that are the responsibility of the Welsh Government and local authorities. Our analysis identifies ten different devolved areas which Universal Credit affects, including housing, advice and support services, childcare and economic development.

For example, the report finds that UC could affect the Welsh Government’s ability to achieve its target of 20,000 affordable homes. It could also increase homelessness and reduce access to private rented homes for UC claimants. On the economy, the report says that UC could reduce the number of people willing to become self-employed, affecting economic development.

The report also urges the Welsh Government to lobby the UK government for powers over some aspects of the administration of UC, such as offering claimants choice over the frequency of payments and the ability to split payments between household members.

Format: PDF

Language: English

Pages: 32

Cost: free



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