Universal Credit: Top milestones over the last two years

As the benefit reform scheme starts to expand nationally, we review progress so far


The government's Universal Credit scheme has fallen five years behind schedule, with ministers announcing the seventh delay since 2013 yesterday. Initially, Universal Credit was to be complete by 2017, but this has now been pushed back to 2022.

The troubled benefits reform project began a national roll-out last year, under the guidance of former work and pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith - who has since been replaced by Damian Green. Currently, Universal Credit only affects newly unemployed people living within particular areas of England.

The scheme has had a difficult start. It was paused and relaunched with new management in 2013, who promised to keep the existing (allegedly unworkable) IT systems but develop a new digital solution to eventually replace them.

Since then a new boss has taken over, a trial of the new solution started, it has emerged millions of pounds will be written off and a new completion date of 2022 has been set, five years behind its original finish date of 2017.

We take a look at the biggest milestones for the project over the last two years.