Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd will visit Harlow Jobcentre Plus in Essex today to see how Universal Credit is working for people across the UK.

Amber Rudd has set out a fresh approach to Universal Credit, including help for claimants to access money more regularly and working with private landlords to avoid rent issues.

Making her first visit since her announcement about the future of the new benefit, Amber Rudd will visit the Jobcentre Plus in Harlow to meet staff and charities working together to help people into employment.

There are more than 68,000 people who’ve moved into work in Essex since 2010 – delivering a record employment rate of 78.4%, above the UK average.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said:

For the vast majority of people it is ultimately work, not benefits, which provides the route to a better life, so it’s excellent that staff at the Harlow Jobcentre Plus are already working hard to support local people into employment.

I’ve seen that Universal Credit is a force for good, but it’s important to remember that universal should not mean one size fits all.

So I want to understand how it is working for different people across the UK and how we can best support these different needs.

The changes I’ve announced will help make sure everyone can reach their full potential, ensuring that work always pays and protecting those who cannot work from hardship.

Since her appointment in November, Amber Rudd has been reviewing the government’s key welfare reform, Universal Credit, which replaces 6 different benefits with one single payment.

Earlier this month, Rudd announced that the government will not extend the 2-child limit on Universal Credit for children born before April 2017, when the policy came into effect, benefiting around 15,000 families.

She also announced changes designed to make Universal Credit fairer, including pilot schemes to provide more frequent payments for new claimants, a new online system for private landlords and a more flexible approach to childcare provisions.

Her visit to Jobcentre Plus in Harlow will be an opportunity to understand how the new benefit is working for the community and she will be discussing that with the local Citizens Advice, Shaw Trust and Streets2Home, a homeless charity based in Harlow.

Local MP Robert Halfon will also join the visit to explain how the benefit system is helping his constituents.


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