Full roll-out of Universal Credit begins in Peterborough amid fears jobseekers could be left short at Christmas

Citizens Advice Peterborough research and campaign co-ordinator Nicky Rees . EMN-170910-224623009
Citizens Advice Peterborough research and campaign co-ordinator Nicky Rees . EMN-170910-224623009
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The full roll-out of the controversial benefits system Universal Credit begins in Peterborough today (Wednesday, November 15).

The system combines six benefits into one monthly payment, but it has been criticised because recipients do not receive their first full payment for six weeks, with some waiting longer, which Peterborough City Council says could lead to rent arrears and people being evicted.

The six week wait would mean new claimants would not receive their first payment until after Christmas, although claimants can receive a smaller advanced payment before then.

Universal Credit supporters say it makes work pay,

Peterborough Citizens Advice Bureau has already said that Universal Credit claimants will be pushed to the front of the queue in receiving support.

Chief executive Keith Jones said the new benefits system is a good thing, but that implementing it is a challenge.

Peterborough Foodbank is expecting to see a rise in clients as a result of Universal Credit, which has previously been running in Peterborough solely for working age, single claimants.

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