The government is to postpone the introduction of regulations for the mass transfer of claimants from legacy benefits such as employment and support allowance (ESA) to universal credit (UC) in the face of a threatened backbench revolt, it has been reported. Instead, only a pilot transfer of 10,000 claimants will take place.

In November 2018, the government published a bill setting out the rules that would cover the transfer of claimants from legacy benefits to UC.

The proposal at that time was that a pilot transfer of 10,000 claimants would take place starting in July 2019, followed by the full rollout of the transfer process.

This meant that decision about how the transfer of claimants was to work would have been put into law before the pilot had even taken place.

Now, however, Amber Rudd is said to be ready to abandon the vote on transferring millions of legacy benefit claimants. Instead, she will only go ahead with the element of the bill that allows for the pilot to take place.

The result should be that any regulations about transferring claimants will only be voted on once the pilot has been evaluated and the results published.

An announcement is expected from Rudd later this week.

Sadly, there is still no indication that the government would consider scrapping the transfer of claimants from ESA to UC altogether. Instead, the process has simply been delayed even further.


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