This page looks at when Universal Credit is likely to be introduced, and the landmarks on the way.


Iain Duncan Smith, former leader of the Conservative Party, founds the Centre for Social Justice, a think tank dedicated to finding and supporting new approaches to fighting poverty.

September 2009 The Centre for Social Justice publishes a report, Dynamic Benefits, which outlines the thinking that has lead to the Universal Credit.
December 2009 The DWP, during the previous Labour administration, publishes the consultation paper Supporting people into work: the next stage of Housing Benefit reform, which states that one option for welfare reform is to introduce a "single working age benefit," a concept similar to the Universal Credit.
May 2010 The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government is formed, and Iain Duncan Smith is appointed as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
July 2010 The DWP published the consultation paper21st Century Welfare, which outlined various options for welfare reform, including the Universal Credit.
1st October 2010 The consultation period for 21st Century Welfare closed.
5th October 2010 At the Conservative Party Conference, Iain Duncan Smith announced that it was the Government's intention to push-ahead with Universal Credit.
21st October 2010 In an interview on BBC Newsnight, Iain Duncan Smith says that by the end of this Parliament, some people will be on the Universal Credit, and that by about 2017, the transition might be complete.
11th November 2010 The White Paper for Universal Credit is published.
January 2011 Welfare Reform Bill containing Universal Credit put before Parliament.
9th March 2012 Welfare Refrom Act receives Royal Assent.
June 2012 Demonstration Projects due to start.
Summer 2012 This should be the end of the "Design Period" for Universal Credit.
October 2012 Regulations for Universal Credit expected to be laid before Parliament.
March or April 2013 Universal Credit live Pathfinder scheme will start.
October 2013 New applicants for out-of-work benefits will be taken on to Universal Credit.
April 2014 New applicants for Tax Credits will claim Universal Credit instead.
October 2014 The migration to Housing Credit in Pension Credit begins.
2014-2017 Existing claimants will be taken over to Universal Credit in tranches during this period.
October 2017 By this date, the migration to Universal Credit may be complete.
October 2018 By this date, the migration to Housing Credit in Pension Credit may be complete.


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Universal Credit timeline