The Universal Tax Credit, is a welfare benefit that was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2013 to replace many existing benefits and tax credits.
The roll-out is an attempt by the government to encourage more people to be independent and take on full-time employment. The incentives of the new service is that benefit reduces gradually as you earn more and there is no limit to your working hours per week. On the other hand, the introduction of a single benefit will see the end of Housing Benefit, a monthly rather than fortnightly payment of benefit, and a single payment to cover couples living together.
In November 2016, the Universal Credit Transition Rollout Schedule for April 2017 to September 2018 was published, setting out the plans for a full rollout process by September 2018 and an indication that existing benefit claimants will be moved to the full Universal Credit Service after the rollout process has completed.
The local authorities scheduled for April 2017 transition to the full Universal Credit Service are Flintshire County Council, Oldham Metropolitan Council and South Somerset District Council. These numbers increase as the month elapse, with seventeen local authorities joining the transition in July 2017, although this is immediately followed by a ‘firebreak’ in August and September 2017. The last month of the rollout, September 2018 will see transitioning of more than twenty local authorities to include Glasgow City Council, Milton Keynes Council and London Borough of Brent.