JRF response to Amber Rudd's speech on Universal Credit

After today's speech by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:

“This is a welcome statement of intent from the new Secretary of State, and we hope to see action in the coming months which will build on this. Universal Credit has the potential to loosen the grip of poverty, and it is positive that many of the concerns expressed by claimants have been heard.

“Allowing more flexibility on the regularity of payments, and making it easier to ensure they go to the main carer in a family, should make a material difference to claimants, as should improving the processes for paying for housing and childcare.

“There is still much more to do to deliver on the Secretary of State’s ambitions and create a country which works for everyone. The benefits freeze continues to be the single biggest policy sweeping families into poverty.

“If the Government is serious about being on the side of low-income families they will take immediate action to end this freeze one year early.”