Cost to the authority of Universal Credit

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

To whom it may concern,

Please can I request under the Freedom of Information Act:

a) Any estimate of the total monetary cost to your authority of the introduction of Universal Credit since its inception in 2013 (ideally broken down by municipal year and including 2018/19 to date);

b) The total monetary value of any crisis loans funded by yourselves and given to Universal Credit claimants since January 1 2013;

c) The total funding given by yourselves to third-sector organisations for the purpose of supporting Universal Credit claimants since January 1 2013;

d) The cost to yourselves of offering support or advice to Universal Credit claimants who are in financial difficulty or struggling with the process of claiming Universal Credit since January 1 2013;

If the following request cannot be met within cost limits, please provide advice on how I may refine my request.

Yours faithfully,

Claire Wilde

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Wilde

 

Freedom of Information request:  FOI-25838

 

Thank you for your request dated 15 March 2019

 

Your request will be answered by 12 April 2019

 

If you have any queries about this request, please contact me, quoting the
reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Jackie Jago

Head of Corporate Services

Corporate Services

Directorate of Communities & Environment

Royal Borough of Greenwich

 

' 020 8921 5044

*   Room 20 Basement The Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW

8 www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Wilde

Freedom of Information request:  FOI-25838

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request, dated 15/03/2019.

Your request is currently being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 and will be progressed as soon as we have received
the clarification requested below.

With regard to Question A of your request, please can you be more specific
about the information you require.

Please quote the reference number in your reply.

If we have not received clarification within 2 months of this email, we
will close the request.

Yours sincerely,

 

Jackie Jago

Head of Corporate Services

Corporate Services

Directorate of Central Services

Royal Borough of Greenwich

 

' 020 8921 5044

*   Room 20 Basement The Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW

8 www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

 

From: foi
Sent: 18 March 2019 09:04
To: 'Claire Wilde' <[FOI #561272 email]>
Cc: foi <[Greenwich Borough Council request email]>
Subject: FOI-25838: Freedom of Information request - Cost to the authority
of Universal Credit

 

Dear Ms Wilde

 

Freedom of Information request:  FOI-25838

 

Thank you for your request dated 15 March 2019

 

Your request will be answered by 12 April 2019

 

If you have any queries about this request, please contact me, quoting the
reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Jackie Jago

Head of Corporate Services

Corporate Services

Directorate of Communities & Environment

Royal Borough of Greenwich

 

' 020 8921 5044

*   Room 20 Basement The Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW

8 www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI-25838

Happy to clarify:
I'd be looking for any assessment of overall costs to the authority of the introduction of UC, which was not met by funding from the Dept of Work and Pensions.
This could include costs in terms of staffing, grants issued to third-sector organisations who support UC claimants (and funded by yourselves rather than the DWP), crisis loans or grants given to UC claimants, perhaps even loss of income due to UC claimants who are awaiting payments unable to pay Council Tax...just any assessment that you may have made about the overall knock-on cost to the authority of UC's introduction.

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Wilde

Thank you for your clarification dated April 6, 2019

Your request has been reopened and will be answered by May 9, 2019

Yours sincerely,

Jackie Jago
Head of Corporate Services
Communities & Environment
Royal Borough of Greenwich

 020 8921 5044
0   Room 20, Basement, Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich, London SE18 6PW
Ee www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 Please consider the environment before printing this email

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Wilde

 

Freedom of Information request:  FOI-25838

 

Thank you for your request dated 06 April 2019

 

Our response is as follows:

 

Please note, Universal Credit (UC) was implemented in the Royal Borough of
Greenwich from January 2016 (“Live Service”) and October 2018 (“Full
Service”).

 

a) Any estimate of the total monetary cost to your authority of the
introduction of Universal Credit since its inception in 2013 (ideally
broken down by municipal year and including 2018/19 to date);

 

As Universal Credit Full Service was only implemented in the Borough from
October 2018 it is too early to estimate the total monetary costs to the
Council for example in respect of Council Tax collection and rent arrears.

 

However, claiming UC has impacted on tenants’ ability to pay promptly and
reduce their arrears; in particular, the one month one week wait for first
UC payment generally leads to a substantial arrears increase. This is
illustrated by the following statistics:

 

As at 30 March 2019 – 75% or 887 of the 1188 tenants claiming UC were in
arrears with an average arrear of £1,415

 

This compares to 38% of tenants who are not on UC with an average arrear
of £613.61.

 

 

b) The total monetary value of any crisis loans funded by yourselves and
given to Universal Credit claimants since January 1 2013;

 

Since April 2013 The Royal Borough of Greenwich has provided discretionary
support to local residents in difficult times, for example, after a house
fire or flood.

 

There are two types of support available:

 

Community support awards - usually provision of basic household items and
furniture.

Emergency support payments – provision of money to help with living
expenses/one off needs.

 

In 2018-19 the Council paid out approximately £380K – (Comprising of £258K
Community support awards + £122K Emergency support payments). However, we
do not hold data that identifies payments made specifically to Universal
Credit Claimants.

 

In 2018-19 we paid out £37K in Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) for
those in receipt of Universal Credit.

 

 

c) The total funding given by yourselves to third-sector organisations for
the purpose of supporting Universal Credit claimants since January 1 2013;

 

In 2018-19 We have given £16K to a local community project working
directly with people living in one of the poorest wards in the borough,
focusing on those who need to or have claimed Universal Credit.

 

 

d) The cost to yourselves of offering support or advice to Universal
Credit claimants who are in financial difficulty or struggling with the
process of claiming Universal Credit since January 1 2013;

 

In 2018-19 a total budget of approximately £320K was provided to help
support Universal Credit claimants, encompassing a number of
areas/initiatives:

 

· Helping residents to claim UC, digital support.

· Providing benefit checks and advice about whether they should claim UC

· Personal Budgeting and support. Help opening a bank account. Completing
and maintaining a budget plan

· Link with other appropriate support services (such as specialist debt
advice).

· UC Rent Verification & early Intervention Service for Council tenants

· Applying for alternative payment arrangements where necessary

· Renegotiating deductions where they are struggling to manage.

 

If you have any queries about this correspondence, please contact me,
quoting the reference number above.

 

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request, you can ask
for an Internal Review. Internal review requests should be submitted
within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original
request. If you wish to do this, please contact us, setting out why you
are dissatisfied.

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Internal Review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision.
Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
Internal Review procedure provided by the Council. You can contact the ICO
by emailing [1][email address], or by post at Customer Contact,
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
SK9 5AF.

 

 

If you have any queries about this correspondence, please contact me,
quoting the reference number above.

 

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request, you can ask
for an Internal Review.  Internal review requests must be submitted within
two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original
request.  If you wish to do this, please contact us in writing, setting
out why you are dissatisfied.

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Internal Review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. 
Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
Internal Review procedure provided by the Council. You can contact the ICO
by emailing [2][email address], or by post at Customer Contact,
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Jackie Jago

Head of Corporate Services

Corporate Services

Directorate of Communities & Environment

Royal Borough of Greenwich

 

' 020 8921 5044

*   Room 20 Basement The Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW

8 www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

ü Please consider the environment before printing this email

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Hello, thank you for this response.

With regards to question d), when you say a "total budget was provided"... was this provided by the DWP?

Many thanks in advance

Claire Wilde

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Wilde

 

Freedom of Information request:  FOI-25838

 

Our response is as follows:

 

d) The cost to yourselves of offering support or advice to Universal 
Credit claimants who are in financial difficulty or struggling with the 
process of claiming Universal Credit since January 1 2013;

 

To clarify under question (d) the total budget of £320K is fully funded by
the Council. No funding from DWP.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Jackie Jago

Head of Corporate Services

Corporate Services

Directorate of Communities & Environment

Royal Borough of Greenwich

020 8921 5044

Room 20 Basement The Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW

[1]www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

Please consider the environment before printing this email

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir