This is the Conservatives’ plan to change Universal Credit - and how it could affect you

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 1:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 1:38 pm

While Brexit was the main focus of Boris Johnson’s election campaign, his party’s manifesto outlined a plan for Universal Credit which did not receive as much attention.

Now, with a large majority, the Prime Minister is almost guaranteed to pass any legislation in Parliament - including those regarding Universal Credit.

So, here is a closer look at what the Conservatives have planned for their controversial benefit scheme.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Plans already in place

Much of what the manifesto promised was already scheduled to happen during Theresa May’s time in office, including ending the benefits freeze, which had stopped welfare payments rising in line with inflation.

The manifesto also promised a rise in the work allowance which was planned under Theresa May.

It also announced that the pension triple lock, which keeps payments rising at at least 2.5 per cent per year - or higher, if average earnings or inflation rise above that - would stay.

The over-65s bus pass and the winter fuel payment will also stay in place.

New changes

But the manifesto did promise some new changes:

The party said it would continue to roll-out Universal Credit across the whole of the UK, replacing the existing benefits systemDisabled people whose condition is not likely to change significantly will not have to go through repetitive assessments just to prove they need welfare paymentsUnpaid carers were told they would see their entitlement to leave extended to one week

Free TV licences

There are also question marks over what the Prime Minister plans to do about the funding of the BBC. Pensioners’ free TV licences used to be guaranteed until they were controversially scrapped last year.

The Prime Minister is yet to weigh in on the dispute, but during the election said that he thought the way the BBC was funded needed to be re-examined, and had called into question whether TV licenses still made sense.