By Daniel Hunter
Ministers have confirmed the final elements of Universal Credit, making clear that 3 million families will be better off under the new system by around £168 a month. The majority of these - 75% - will come from the bottom two fifths of the income scale.
"The Autumn Statement confirmed Universal Credit will begin next year on time and under budget. Today, the final key elements of this reform are put in place," Secretary for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said.
"These confirm the new system will make work pay and protect the people who need it most. The clear work incentives of Universal Credit will result in up to 300,000 more people moving into work.
"We have invested to ensure people are cash protected when they move over to the new benefit so nobody will lose out."
The Universal Credit regulations laid in Parliament show the disregards and work allowances for Universal Credit will be more generous than the existing system. Some of the changes within the Universal Credit regulations include:
- No longer taking into account income from war pensions or armed forces compensation when calculating benefits;
- Disregarding 100% of contributions to an occupational or personal pension scheme;
- 200,000 under 25’s being able to claim in work support for the first time;
Kinship carers no longer being forced to look for work as a condition of their benefit;
- New rules for the self employed which will now assume a minimum level of income at the National Minimum Wage which will incentivise claimants to increase their earnings and productivity and realise their financial potential.
The regulations were consulted upon over the summer by the Social Security Advisory Committee. Their recommendations, along with the broader consultation with stakeholders resulted in several improvements being made to the regulations including: funding for those living in supported accommodation being provided outside of Universal Credit, and additional start up periods for the self employed every five years.
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