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Universal credit delay headline misleading

Published 29/07/2016

I refer to your article, headlined 'Welfare shake-up in crisis as universal credit delayed until autumn next year' (News, July 20), which this department considers to be misleading.

The current reform of the welfare system represents the biggest change to the benefit and tax credit system in more than 70 years, and there are many elements to this change.

A number of these changes have already gone live in Northern Ireland, and the article makes no reference to their successful introduction.

Universal credit is being introduced incrementally across Great Britain.

It had originally been scheduled to be introduced in Northern Ireland from January 2017, but its introduction has been delayed to accommodate changes to the UK-wide welfare system.

It is still planned that the roll-out of universal credit across Northern Ireland will be completed during 2018.

The department does not believe that a planned eight-month delay in introducing universal credit in Northern Ireland can justify a headline that the changes to the welfare system are "in crisis".


Senior information officer

Department for Communities

Online Editors

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