Universal Credit Expands.

The expansion of the Government's Universal Credit expands further today with another Council Borough set to join in the trial of the new benefit.

Oldham, which neighbours Tameside, introduces the new system today which is supposed to replace Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

The scheme was launched in Tameside ten weeks ago and despite teething problems is set to be rolled out nationwide in the next few months.

In an exclusive interview with tbg today, the Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, says that the new system is being rolled out in a slow, safe and controlled manner to avoid further problems.

"New Job Seekers in Ashton have successfully claimed Universal Credit online and the I.T. and support is now working as it should."

"We are fixing the welfare system so it rewards people who want to work hard and so it is fair to taxpayers who fund it."

"This system supports people who want to find work and will make sure that it is always better to be in work in contrast to the past where some people were better off on benefits."

Despite the system being rolled out for new claimants in Tameside and Oldham, existing claimants wanting to benefit from the changes will have to wait until it is rolled out nationwide later in the year.