Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The following Motion was proposed by Councillor England and seconded by Councillor Barry:
1. This Council notes that Universal Credit, the single monthly benefit payment which replaces the six current working age benefits, has now been implemented across most of the country, but has yet to be rolled out to all benefits claimants in Dacorum.
2. This council further notes that within Dacorum the number of people affected is likely to be in the thousands and is concerned that the full implementation of Universal Credit in Dacorum is likely to prove seriously detrimental to the health and wellbeing of those thousands of local residents.
3. In recognition of this and of the fact that the move to full implementation of Universal Credit in other parts of the country has resulted in considerable financial hardship for many of those people moving onto this new system of benefit payments; council requests that before the full roll-out of Universal Credit across the Borough of Dacorum, measures are found to alleviate hardship caused by -
a. The five week wait for claimants to receive their benefits.
b. Payments going to one named member of a household.
c. The rent element of benefit being included in payments to Claimants
4. To support the measures taken to alleviate hardship, the council requests that an additional financial provision be included in the budget for 2020/2021 to provide for hardship payments and/or loans.
5. In addition, Council requests that the Leaders of the Political Groups of the Council write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urge that amendments to Universal Credit be introduced that will -
a. End benefit sanctions as there is no evidence that sanctioning helps people into work.
b. Allow all new claimants to apply for Universal Credit in job centres supported by trained job centre staff rather than forcing new claimants to apply on-line.
c. Abandon the in-work conditionality for part-time or low paid workers.
d. Increase the overall level to which Universal Credit is funded.
A recorded vote was held:
18 for (Councillors Hollinghurst, Ransley, Townsend, Pringle, Link, McDowell, Claughton, Allen, Stevens, Taylor, Symington, Barry, Freedman, Woolner, England, Tindall, Hobson and Uttley)
28 against (Councillors Beauchamp, Williams, Sinha, Johnson, Peter, Barrett, Arslan, R Sutton, Bassadone, Timmis, Rogers, Durrant, Silwal, Adeleke, Guest, Wyatt-Lowe, Hearn, Riddick, Douris, Griffiths, Elliot, Anderson, Banks, G Sutton, Birnie, Chapman, Suqlain Mahmood and Sobaan Mahmood).
Therefore the Motion was lost.
Publication date: 28/01/2020
Date of decision: 22/01/2020
Decided at meeting: 22/01/2020 - Council