Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, has written exclusively for RLA members’ magazine RPI on the topics of Universal Credit and the benefits cap.
In the article, Lord Freud discusses national roll out of Universal Credit in 2017, how the system is structured to replace existing benefit payments, and how Universal Credit fits into subsidising housing costs.
Universal Credit is aimed at getting people into work. Lord Freud describes how benefit payments will be incrementally reduced as pay increases and how only suitable tenants will be selected – i.e. those that are responsible enough to handle and budget money.
Tenant suitability is backed up by review processes that include landlords having the ability, but also responsibility, to highlight tenants who fall into arrears:
- After one month of arrears reassessment of individuals’ ability to manage and work with money;
- After two months of arrears there will the same reassessment but also guarantee (as long as you, as a landlord, inform the appropriate authorities) the claimant will be switched to managed payments.
Lord Freud also discusses the role and value the benefit cap plays within this framework. A key aspect of the benefit cap programme is that “…households on out-of-work benefits will no longer receive more in benefits than the average weekly wage, after tax and National Insurance.”
Lord Freud states: “To help all landlords, we will carefully assess people’s capabilities before they are moved onto Universal Credit. People who clearly do not have the skills to manage rent should not be placed with that responsibility, and we will not leave the problem to get worse.”
The full article is available to RLA members through the RPI magazine now. We will be publishing the article in full on the news hub soon.