Universal Credit policy to expand to 90 jobcentres in North West England

The government's flagship welfare policy, Universal Credit, is to be introduced in 90 jobcentres in north-west England, Iain Duncan Smith says.

The work and pensions secretary told the BBC the change would apply only to single claimants, with couples and families joining at a later stage. But ministers have not set a target date for that to happen. The benefit is currently distributed at just 10 jobcentres, having been delayed a number of times since its creation.

The Universal Credit system merges six working-age benefits - income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit - into a single payment in a far-reaching change designed to encourage work and reduce fraud.

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