ACTION DESK: ‘It will be simpler’

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THE universal credit will be simpler to understand than the web of benefits it will replace, the Government says.

Some 70 organisations representing councils, charities, trades unions, businesses and housing groups have expressed concern over monthly payments, an internet site and a £2bn IT system.

But Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith this week said it was a vital part of welfare reform plans and it was ‘on track and on time.’

The Government says universal credit will help claimants become more independent and ‘smooth the transitions into and out of work, supporting a dynamic labour market,’ as well as reduce fraud.

A new benefit cap is set to limit the amount of money working age people can get.

From April next year, single people should not get more than £350-a-week and families £500-a-week.

The cap aims to stop people on benefits receiving more than the average wage.

A ‘bedroom tax’ is being introduced on the same date. Housing benefit claimants will be hit with a 14 per cent cut for one spare room and 25 per cent for two spare rooms.