With respect to the managed migration of claimants from the legacy system to Universal Credit (UC).
UC is a fair benefit that protects vulnerable claimants and ensures that work always pays. As it is a simpler, more accurate benefit based on up-to-date information, it will provide people with their full entitlement. This means that 700,000 people will receive on average an extra £285 per month which they have not received under the existing system. Around a million disabled claimants will gain on average £100 a month, because their award is higher through UC than legacy benefits.
UC has been rolled out to every Jobcentre in the country. This means all new claimants will receive Universal Credit. There are now 1.4 million people receiving the benefit.
This year the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will begin delivering the next phase of the roll out – Managed Migration. Managed Migration will allow the DWP to move claimants off existing legacy benefits onto UC, without a claimant’s circumstances changing.
The DWP has committed to taking a measured approach to delivering Managed Migration – to ensure that claimants are moved smoothly across to UC, proceeding with the utmost care and attention.
To make good on this, the current draft Managed Migration regulations have been changed, and the DWP will only seek powers for a pilot of Managed Migration to move no more than 10,000 people in the first instance. The DWP will then report on the pilot’s findings before bringing forward legislation to extend Managed Migration.
This will not affect the proposed timetable for delivering UC. Managed Migration will begin, as planned, from July 2019 and end, as planned, in 2023, I am glad that the DWP will uphold its commitments to protect claimants receiving the Severe Disability Premium, and to plan this process in conjunction with charities, experts and claimants. Everyone moved through Managed Migration will be eligible for transitional protection, worth £3 billion in total.
This follows a series of improvements to UC. In the Budget 2018, the Chancellor announced a £4.5 billion package for UC, which will make a real difference to the lives of claimants across the country.
This includes increasing the amount that hardworking families can earn by £1,000 before their award is tapered away, providing extra support for 2.4 million working families. I also welcome the measures to provide two additional weeks of legacy benefits for those moved onto UC, a twelve-month grace period before the Minimum Income Floor is applied, and a reduction of the normal maximum rate at which debts are deducted from UC awards, from 40 per cent to 30 per cent of Standard Allowances.
I will be following the Managed Migration process very closely to ensure that people move smoothly into the new system, and I will support improvements when necessary.