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Concerns over Torbay Universal Credit rollout

Just days before Universal Credit is rolled out to Torbay, a charity says it's being contacted by worried landlords.

The new system, which starts on Wednesday, brings together a series of different benefits into one payment.

Ellie Waugh from Humanity Torbay says landlords are worried that some tennants could end up making themselves homeless.

She said: "Some of the people, they have in their properties, are extremely vulnerable.

"They have mental health problems and they are concerned about certain people actually getting the benefit paid directly to them - instead of it going directly to the landlord.

"There's only a few criterias where they can have it paid directly to the landlord."

Universal Credit was also criticised earlier this year by the National Audit Office for delays in processing payments.

A report warned: "The result has been a dialogue of claim and counter-claim and gives the unhelpful impression of a Department that is unsympathetic to claimants."

It added: "The Department has now got a better grip of the programme in many areas."

Ahead of the Torbay introduction the Department For Work and Pensions said the roll-out simplifies the previous out-of-date, complex system and lessons have been learnt.

They said: "Universal Credit is rolling out successfully across the country. 

"It simplifies an out-of-date, complex system and it’s helping people get into work faster and stay in work longer.

"We continue to listen to feedback and improve the Universal Credit service as we go."

Click play to hear Ellie Waugh, CEO Humanity Torbay, speaking to reporter Andrew Kay

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