Benefit overhaul comes under scrutiny
PRESSURE is mounting on a huge overhaul of benefit payments that will affect 88,000 Bristol claimants.
Ministers want to roll a string of different payments into a single universal credit in the biggest shake-up of welfare for a generation.
But the payment, to be tried out in Bath and North East Somerset, could affect hard-up households in difficulty, a charity has warned.
The Social Market Foundation said the shift to monthly, rather than weekly, payments would make it harder for people to budget.
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Claimants will also be in charge of making their own rental payments, rather than paying housing benefit directly to landlords.
Yesterday Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was grilled by MPs on the flagship policy, while Downing Street insisted it was still committed to it.
The government insists the credit will ensure nobody is better off on benefits than they would be if they chose to work, while cutting the UK's welfare bill. Earlier this year the Post revealed that £732 million was spent on welfare payments in Bristol and the surrounding area last year.