Cameron has outlined plans to stop immigrants from inside Europe claiming various benefits in a move criticised and rubbished by Brussels.
Minister dismisses claims he attempted to pin the blame for "shocking" failures in his flagship welfare reform on his senior official.
Some 11 per cent of benefit payments have been suspended since a tougher regime was introduced - check what has changed and how to claim.
Responding to the Government’s admission that Universal Credit behind schedule, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP labelled the Coalition as "out-of-touch".
– Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP
Iain Duncan Smith has today admitted what everyone has known for months – that Universal Credit is massively behind schedule. But just a couple of weeks ago he was telling Parliament the Government would 'roll out Universal Credit on the plan and programme already set out'.
It’s clear that David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith have completely failed to get to grips with their flagship welfare reform and millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been written off as a result. Families facing a cost-of-living crisis deserve better than this.
Universal Credit, the new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income, will be rolled out throughout 2013 and will replace benefits such as:
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, the unemployment benefit paid by the government to people who are unemployed and seeking work.
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - for the ill or disabled, ESA offers financial support if you’re unable to work or personalised help so that you can work if you’re able to.
Income Support - for people with no income or a low income who are working less than 16 hours a week and haven’t signed on as unemployed.
Child Tax Credit - can be claimed for each child you’re responsible for if they’re under 16 or under 20 and in approved education or training.
Working Tax Credits - you could qualify if you’re aged 16 or over, work a certain number of hours a week, you get paid for the work you do (or expect to) but your income is below a certain level.
Housing Benefit - to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income.
Universal Credit is now live in seven areas across the UK and will be growing to ten by spring 2014. By the end of next year, the scheme will expand to cover more of the north west.
But the Government has admitted that about 700,000 claimants of a disability benefit will not be transferred to the new Universal Credit before 2017.
The Universal Credit reforms are intended to help people back into work but the Department for Work and Pensions said its priority throughout had been the "safe and smooth" delivery of the new policy.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said the Government is going to get Universal Credit right by bringing it in "carefully and responsibly". His comments come after he admitted the scheme may not be fully rolled out until 2017.
– Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith
This is a once in a generation reform. And we’re going to get it right by bringing it in carefully and responsibly.
Our approach will ensure that while we continue to enhance the IT for Universal Credit, we will learn from and expand the existing service, so that we fully under stand how people interact with it, and how we can best support them.
Early indications show that people are positive about the new benefit, and my Department is working hard to ensure this good progress continues.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has admitted the Government's controversial Universal Credit may not be fully rolled out until 2017, missing its original deadline.
The new benefit, which brings together six benefits and tax credits into one, started to be rolled out in Manchester in April.
The government announced a number of new measures to prevent immigrants from other parts of the EU from accessing social welfare benefits, ahead of the lifting of restrictions on migrants from Romania Bulgaria.
His plans were promptly criticised by Brussels, with the EU Commission saying the freedom of movement rules for people within the bloc were "non-negotiable."
Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports from Margate, one of many places across the UK where migration is a significant issue for voters.
There are of course pros and cons to the merits of economic migration within the EU, but the question is whether the Prime Minister is fighting with Europe on the right issue.
What I have not seen a huge amount of evidence for, over the years, is that an awful lot of people come here to claim benefits - this is what people said when the Poles and so on were coming here, certainly in the early years, but there is no evidence that this is what actually happened.
So why is David Cameron doing this? Well just look at the polls.
UKIP are on 10-12%, and clearly he wants some of those votes back. He is trying to do something about it, and I think the question is really whether this is the right thing.
The European Commission has issued a warning to Prime Minister David Cameron, saying that the EU freedom of movement rules were non-negotiable, and had to be accepted if the UK wanted to remain inside the bloc.
Viviane Reding, vice-president of the EU executive, said:
Free movement is non-negotiable.
If Britain wants to leave the single market, you should say so.
But if Britain wants to stay a part of the single market, free movement applies. You cannot have your cake and eat it Mr Cameron!
EU migrants who arrived since 2000 are less likely to receive benefits and less likely to live in social housing than UK natives, and contribute more than a third in tax than they receive in benefits, new research by UCL has revealed.
- Recent immigrants (who arrived after 1999 and constituted 33% of the immigration population in 2011) were 45% less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits than UK natives over the period 200-2011.
- On average, recent EU immigrants contributed 34% more in taxes than they received in transfers.
- Recent immigrants from countries outside the EU have contributed 2% more in taxes than they received in transfers.
- UK natives' tax payments were 11% lower than the transfers they receive.