UNIVERSAL Credit claimants on a pilot scheme in Wigan are doing more to get into work than jobseekers claiming under the current system.
The first research on the new system, following interviews with 2,701 benefit claimants, published today shows the new benefit is providing better incentives for people to move off benefits.
People claiming Universal Credit reported looking for work for 27.1 hours a week on average, compared to 13.6 hours by a comparable group of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants.
Universal Credit combines six benefits and tax credits into one, and is designed to encourage claimants to get into work.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, said: “It is vital that we continue to build on the progress made in these pathfinder areas.”
Claimants of the new system also apply for more jobs per week, typically submitting 16 applications for work while Jobseeker’s Allowance recipients apply for 11.
Some 76% of Universal Credit claimants said that knowing their benefits would be reduced or stopped if they did not complete activities made them more likely to search for jobs.
Almost two-thirds of Universal Credit claimants think that the new system provides a better financial incentive to work, as well as better rewards for small amounts of work than Jobseeker’s Allowance.