THE introduction of Universal Credit has had many critics, not least of them local councils and the National Audit Office.

A system sold to us as ‘incentivising work’ and increasing income from employment always sounded a good idea on paper.

But it has rarely been out of the headlines since its roll-out. Councillors in Barrow now report that delays in payments have plunged tenants into debt.

The opposition says this has led the council to have to write-off debts and rent arrears to stack up.

For a system supposedly designed to make things simpler Universal Credit has thrown up a unique set of problems.

No-one in the working world would find it acceptable to have to wait six weeks to be paid, so why should anyone else?

All of us have bills to pay. This is a serious oversight which should have been picked up earlier and resolved with more haste.

Introducing a system on this scale was never going to be perfect, but it is unacceptable that tenants have to wait so long to receive a payment that they end up in debt.

For Universal Credit to be regarded as a success, the government needs to demonstrate that it works for the people depending on it, councils and taxpayers.