Govt claims Universal Credit improves work incentives for young people

New figures show that 2,960 people started claiming Universal Credit (UC) in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire areas from April 2013 to the end of October 2013.

The figures also show that the majority of claimants were under the age of 25, meaning these young people are benefiting from the improved work incentives of Universal Credit.

Nearly 7 out of 10 claimants receiving the new benefit are aged between 16 and 24.

The government is committed to delivering the best skills for young people as part of the long-term economic plan.

Universal Credit gives greater incentives for young people to move into work because for the first time it gives under-25s in-work support, ensuring they are better off taking a job than remaining on benefits.

Currently single young people under 25 are not generally eligible for in-work support from Working Tax Credit and can face a severe withdrawal of benefits when they go into work.

A single person under 25 working 35 hours a week at the National Minimum Wage could be around £15-£20 a week better off under Universal Credit.

Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud said: “Universal Credit is a modern welfare system that ensures being in work pays, so taking a job is a more attractive option than remaining on benefits. Our commitment to build a stronger and more competitive Britain needs young people in jobs where they can progress.

Alongside our £1 billion Youth Contract, Work Programme and apprenticeships scheme, Universal Credit will help young people get on.

The numbers of people claiming Universal Credit will increase as the progressive roll-out of the new benefit continues. Hammersmith began taking claims to Universal Credit in October, Rugby and Inverness began taking claims in November and Bath, Harrogate and Shotton will begin to take claims this spring.

By the end of next year, Universal Credit will also start to expand to cover more of the north-west.”

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