23/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 13:55

Online push for Universal Credit claims

Category: Business

Published: 17th Jul 2012 18:43:16

Claimants of a new universal benefit will be pushed to complete forms online when the new system starts next year.

Ministers claimed that research had found that six out of 10 people would be willing to make a Universal Credit application on the internet.

The new benefit replaces five work-based benefits and is aimed at simplifying the system.

Those who struggle to use the online system will still have access to face-to-face help and telephone assistance.

"The important difference [to the current system] is that this support will be geared towards helping people to use the online services in the future," said Lord Freud, the minister for welfare reform.

Concerns have been raised by some charities that this could cause problems for low income families who do not have access to the internet.

Ministers said the timetable for the introduction of Universal Credit remained on track to begin in October 2013. It will be phased in over a number of years, with eight million households signed up by 2017.

A pilot of the new system will run in Greater Manchester and Cheshire from next April.

The new benefit will replace jobseeker's allowance, tax credits, income support, employment and support allowance, and housing benefits.

The system requires the input of a massive new computer system at HM Revenue and Customs that keeps "real-time" information of people's earnings.

All employers are expected to start submitting data to the system from April.

However, the All-Party Parliamentary Taxation Group published a report earlier in July that questioned the timetable and cost of this system.

Pressure groups such as the Low Income Tax Reform Group have also raised concerns about the effect of the new Universal Credit on the finances of the four million self-employed people in the UK.

"In many cases the income of self-employed earners will fall sharply making it, in some cases, uneconomic for them to continue to work," said the group's chairman, Anthony Thomas.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Online push for Universal Credit claims [Online] (Updated 17th Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1441071/Online-push-for-Universal-Credit-claims [Accessed 23rd Aug 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Man fined over kidnapping 'wind up' in Bolton

    A man who sparked a police search after telling his girlfriend he had been kidnapped was later found at a house party.
  • Scottish independence: Campaigns set out rival visions of NHS

    The "Yes" and "No" campaigns in the independence referendum have set out rival visions of the NHS in Scotland.
  • Hundreds face weekend without gas in Nantyglo

    A utility company is still trying to restore gas to more than 750 homes in Blaenau Gwent after water got into gas pipes on Thursday.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Jonathan Brownlee edges out brother Alistair in Stockholm

    Britain's Jonathan Brownlee beat brother Alistair in Stockholm to strengthen his chances of winning the ITU World Championship Series. 
  • Evan Blass: King of the leakers

    Can you keep a secret? The technology industry sure can't.