A respected commentator on benefits has suggested that, far from cutting costs, universal credit (UC) could massively increase the benefits bill because the amount of benefit that goes unclaimed will be drastically reduced.
Joe Halewood has pointed out that because UC is a one-stop shop for benefits there is much less chance of claimants missing out on some of their entitlement.
Under the current system the same person might have to make claims for benefits from the DWP, housing benefit from their local authority and tax credits from HMRC. The chances of entitlements being missed is high, with the DWP estimating that between £12 billion and £15.6 billion in benefits went unclaimed in a single year and HMRC estimating that £8.4 billion in tax credits was also not claimed.
But, if you claim UC then there is little possibility of any of your entitlement being missed. So, unless you fail to make a claim at all, you are likely to get everything you are entitled to.
At the top end of the estimates, that would mean an extra £24 billion a year being paid out.
It’s a new take on the perils of UC, which you can read in full on Joe’s website.