Buy-to-let landlords have welcomed reports that Universal Credit waiting time could be cut from six weeks to a month
Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who initially proposed Universal Credit, is among a growing number of politicians urging the government to reduce the wait time for payments which is pushing some claimants into rent arrears.
He told Sky News: “One of the reasons I resigned from government was I didn’t actually agree with the additional waiting days.
“This is something the government needs to look at in the budget.”
His comments yesterday came after the government, under increased pressure over Universal Credit, gave in to demands over scrapping call charges to the Universal Credit helpline.
Some claimants were being charged up to 55p a minute to contact the service.
Now is it believed that the government is on the verge of a U-turn over Universal Credit following public pressure and a threatened backbench rebellion.
Ministers are understood to be preparing to announce the waiting time for the first payment of the new benefit will be reduced from six weeks, which will be welcome news for landlords.
David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Associations, said: “The current six weeks delay before Universal Credit claimants receive any money causes many tenants to get into rent arrears causing problems for them and their landlords. Any move to reduce this waiting time is very welcome.
“A reduction to four weeks would be more reasonable and bring payment schedules into line with those in the world of work.”