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£500k of new burdens cash held back

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The government is to hold back half-a-million pounds from its welfare reforms ‘new burdens’ fund, following ministers’ decision to delay the roll out of universal credit.

The £500,000 was due to be distributed to local authorities during the summer as part of a £24.1m financial package, unveiled in April by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The funding had been arranged to compensate councils for the extra administrative costs they would bear when the credit was introduced.

Although the roll out was due to be begin in October this year, the date has now been pushed back to April next year- and even that looks uncertain.

A DWP circular release earlier this month said the delay meant the £500,000 will “not now be paid”. Councils which are taking part in the next phase of the roll-out would be funded through ‘direct bilateral agreements’.

“There should be no universal credit new burden impact on other local authorities” outside of the ‘pathfinder’ areas which are already trialling the single social security payment.

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