Universal Credit creator explains six-week payment wait

Universal Credit: Benefits scheme Architect explains rationale behind six-week wait for first payment

Deven Ghelani spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer about the system in wake of several criticisms directed at it

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The man who concieved the new Universal Credit scheme has highlighted the thinking behind the six-week wait to receive money. 

This aspect of the system - which provides monthly payments to help with living costs for the unemployed and low-income workers - has received criticism, as has the 55p-per-minute charge on the phone's helpline.

Jeremy Corbyn has urged Theresa May to rethink the system during Prime Minister's Questions, even asking what planet she is on.

Deven Ghelani, the architect of the Universal Credit scheme, admitted he had been against the helpline charge but explained the reasoning behind the wait.  

He told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "The rationale is that [delay] is exactly what happens when people on the currents benefits system move into work.

"There was always this problem when people moved into work because there could be uncertainty over income.

"Their benefits weren’t going to be paid, they’d have to wait a chunk of time for their first paycheck.

"The idea from the department, not myself, is that getting rid of this uncertainty will ease the transition for people into work for people later on."

Listen above.