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Universal credit

House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee inquiry into the economics of Universal
Credit : Evidence from Citizens Advice Craven and Harrogate Districts

In March 2020, CACHD submitted evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee inquiry into the economics of Universal Credit. In our response we identified a number of groups who have financially lost out as a result of Universal Credit reforms.

CACHD response to HoL

Social Security Advisory Committee consultation on Managed Migration to Universal Credit draft regulations

We submitted evidence to the recent consultation by SSAC on these regulations. As a result of the very many responses SSAC received and the recommendations they then made, some of the regulations were changed by DWP – these will make the process of moving to UC slightly easier for claimants. However we remain concerned about some elements and continue to campaign on these.

CACHD response to SSAC

Universal Credit Research – our 2017 report

In June 2016 Harrogate and Skipton jobcentres were among the first in the country to move to the comprehensive ‘full service’ UC.  The rollout period is described by DWP as ‘test and learn’.  We are concerned that our clients are bearing the cost of this learning period both in financial terms and also in the impact on their health and wellbeing.  We outline in the report a number of practical steps that need to be taken during this transition period to ease the burden on early claimants.

You can find the report here

Carrying the cost: the experience of Citizens Advice clients in a Universal Credit ‘Test and Learn’ early rollout area

Some people have found that their web browser, i.e. Firefox, does not display the text of this report properly.  If you encounter this problem please download the report then open it in a pdf reader such as Adobe Acrobat.

Previous reports

From the beginning of Universal Credit (UC) our area has been in the early stages of the rollout.

In 2013 we joined with other local Citizens Advice to investigate the likely effect of the introduction of a digital welfare service.  We revealed its possible adverse impact on many of those who were receiving benefits, or may be eligible to do so in the future.  The report of our findings can be found here:

‘Access Denied’ report

The early rollout of Universal Credit – Research in 2015

In 2015 our local office co-ordinated a research project to explore people’s experience of claiming UC.  16 local Citizens Advice Offices took part and together we surveyed 360 clients – more than 10% of all those clients that Citizens Advice had advised on UC at the time.

The report was launched at a meeting in parliament chaired by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.  At the launch two clients who had experienced considerable hardship as a result of problems with the system gave moving evidence of the impact on themselves and their families.  Citizens Advice then met Lord Freud to discuss the main recommendations of our report.  The report can be found here:

‘Waiting for credit’ report

‘Full service’ Universal Credit 2016-17

In 2016 Harrogate and Skipton jobcentres were among the first in the country to move to the comprehensive ‘full service’ UC.  80 of our clients shared their experiences as part of the national research.  The report highlighted a number of serious problems such as the very long wait for payment, and recommended a pause in the rollout until the problems are fixed.

‘Delivering on Universal Credit’ report

Universal Credit updated briefing – September 2017