Universal Credit has the greatest capacity to tackle poverty and is critical in continuing social cohesion
by Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP
This past year has tested our institutions to the limit and too many creaking under the strain of Covid foundered in the heat of contact.
Yet one programme has become the silent ship in the otherwise noisy fleet of Government – Universal Credit, (UC). More claims for UC were made in the first four weeks of the pandemic than in the first nine months of the 2008 financial crash. Some three million new claimants registered, with 5.8 million people up until now receiving UC, compared with 2.9 million back in January 2020.
UC’s digital system and the excellent operators at the DWP more than coped with the worst conditions imaginable. More than 90 per cent of payments for claims were made in week one of lockdown and advance payments made within 72 hours. This is a system operating far, far beyond what was ever originally intended.
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