Alert Section

Latest News

Welfare Reform report going to Overview and Scrutiny Committee next week

Published: 03/03/2017

The UK Government has been implementing its programme of welfare reforms over the last five years. Flintshire County Council has been working with partners to attempt to mitigate the full impacts of these reforms for its most vulnerable residents. Universal Credit has been operating in Flintshire since April 2014. From April 2017, the UK Government is rolling out “Full Service” Universal Credit. This change is being introduced in three job centres in Flintshire initially – Shotton, Mold and Flint. This “Full Service” Universal Credit is replacing the following six benefits: · Housing Benefit · Income Support · Job Seekers Allowance · Employment Support Allowance · Child Tax Credit · Working Tax Credit Furthermore, almost everyone will need to claim and manage their Universal Credit online from April 2017. When it next meets on 8 March, the Community and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee will receive a report describing the key changes and the impacts these changes will have on local people. The report outlines how the Council is trying to help households who will be affected by this significant change and challenge, especially the most vulnerable households. The Leader of Flintshire County Council, Councillor Aaron Shotton, said: “These further reforms come on top of earlier reforms, including the bedroom tax. 1,149 Flintshire households were affected by this tax and were, on average, £14 a week worse off as a result. This next phase of changes to Universal Credit will mean that over 2,000 Flintshire households will be almost £40 a week worse off when their protection ends. “Around a quarter of those affected by the forthcoming changes are working households. In addition, 75% of households affected are in private rented accommodation and families with children account for 60%. “The Council plans to use our Flintshire Connects centres to help our residents and offer them advice and assistance on how to manage their claims online. That said, there will be a significant number of people who will face a drop in income which will lead to potential hardship and some very difficult decisions.”