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Commenting on the Department for Work and Pension’s Universal Credit figures, Nigel Fletcher, Head of Research at Bright Blue, said:

“The government’s stated aims for introducing Universal Credit are worthy ones– ensuring that work pays more than welfare, simplifying the system for claimants, and encouraging personal responsibility. But there are a number of specific concerns about the way the new system works in practice, which are becoming apparent as it is rolled out.

“Moving to a single monthly payment and monthly assessments are big changes, which may leave some claimants vulnerable to budgeting difficulties and increased debt, particularly in the short-term. In addition, research by Bright Blue this year highlighted a particular problem for self-employed people on low wages who receive in-work benefits, and could find themselves worse off under Universal Credit than employees on the same income. Those effects need to be investigated, so that action can be taken to mitigate them as the system is rolled out further.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For further media enquiries, please contact our Communications Manager of Bright Blue, Laura Round, on laura@brightblue.org.uk or 07543759844.