THE roll-out of Universal Credit should be “halted and sorted out” to stop thousands of people falling into “crippling debt”, a former senior Government adviser has said.

Dame Louise Casey, the former head of the Government’s troubled families team, said problems which existed a year ago had not gone away and “constant tinkering” was not helping.

She said many families were being forced to turn to emergency loans, as the BBC reported that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was planning to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to prevent hardship among claimants moving on to the combined benefit system.

Blackburn with Darwen resources chief, Cllr Andy Kay, warned the scheme was having a major impact in the borough.

He said: “All changes of income and circumstances are issued by the DWP to the council on a daily basis, resulting in a significant number of adjustments and therefore additional council tax bills being issued to customers.

“At present there are approximately 1,000 additional bills per month being issued to council tax payers than at the same time last year.”

“These additional work volumes are being monitored as they impact on the ability to maintain service levels within the council tax section.

“As Universal Credit is rolled out more widespread, volumes will likely increase to an unmanageable degree without significant changes to the council tax support scheme.”