What was the rationale behind the bill and its main elements? Or should one rather ask- what are the benefits the bill will produce that the bill’s main proponent Lain Duncan Smith puts forward?
The government believes that the previous system of welfare was complex. It also believes that the previous system failed to encourage people to take up jobs and increase work hours. They think the new system will be much fairer and affordable to alleviate poverty. They claim that the Universal Credit will bring together several benefits under a single payment system (Great Britain: Parliament, 2012, p 6). The Universal credit system will encourage people to take up a job, and increase their working hours. This will make sure that work pays. The Universal credit will make the transition of in and out of work smoother. The new system, according to the government, will be simpler, easier to understand and cheaper to administer. The system will also reduce the number of working poor. Other benefits a claimant will get are help with budgeting, supported accommodation housing cost and self employment start up period. The Department for Work and Pension (DWP) wil help the claimants with their budgeting by selecting appropriate bank accounts, financial products etc. for them. The financial products will be such that they should make sure one’s necessary bills are covered and one’s credit rating improves. The supported accommodation housing cost will help the DWP to meet the higher expenditures involving providing of supported accommodation. The provision of self-employment start up period will make sure that a claimant gets enough time to establish him/herself. When a person is self employed for a period less than 1 year, a start up period will be granted. Therefore, the person need not look for work or be available for work. This will give claimants more time to focus on the development of