Last night leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt said the Work and Pensions Secretary has "persuaded him" that there's a case to cut the wait down to stop Brits going into debt.
And he vowed if he becomes prime minister he will cut it down, helping millions of Brits who are still set to go on to the six-in-one benefit.
At last night's Sun and talkRADIO debate Mr Hunt, who is the underdog in the race to become the next PM, said: "She has persuaded me that we do need to end the five week wait before people can claim Universal Credit.
"Which I think is the right reform, but it had unintended consequences when people had that wait early on."
Mr Hunt has hinted he would do this before and would look at the benefits system if he gets into No10.
The Sun has been campaigning to reform and fix Universal Credit – including slashing the five-week wait and letting Brits keep more of what they earn.
We've told how Brits have been plunged into debt by being unable to access enough help quick enough when they switch to the six-in-one benefit.
Sources close to Ms Rudd, who is backing Mr Hunt for the leadership, did not deny that she has been privately making the case to cut the wait times down.
But the DWP has said repeatedly that no one has to wait five weeks for a payment as advances are available from day one.
One source said: "She's pleased both candidates praised the work Amber has done at the department and we continue to work right up until the final day of this Government.
"She continues to crack on, and is focused on the job.
"What comes next is a matter for Jeremy or Boris."
Both candidates lavished praise on Ms Rudd last night.
Mr Hunt, the current Foreign Secretary, said Ms Rudd "cared passionately about social justice" – this week she has asked the new PM to look at hiking benefits too for the poorest Brits.
"If she recommended it I would look at it very carefully," he added – but didn't commit to anything.
Boris was more cautious and didn't say he would review the five-week wait if he gets to Downing Street, but did say he was pleased with Ms Rudd's work.
He said: "I have great respect for what Amber is doing at DWP in trying to tackle the issues around Universal Credit, and making sure people get paid early enough.
"I am going to have a look at it and see what can do to help," he said on the benefits freeze.
His aides said he would look at the benefits system in the upcoming spending review, and that he respected the DWP boss's work on Universal Credit.
Last week Ms Rudd appeared to back-track from her hardline position on a No Deal Brexit – which could save her job if Boris wins the upcoming leadership race.
Previously she's been heavily opposed to leaving without an agreement, but she admitted last week
Sources close to Boris told The Sun she could be on track for a good job after her latest remarks – but Boris hasn't made any decisions yet.
The Sun wants to Make Universal Credit Work
UNIVERSAL Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.
One million people are already receiving it and by the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7 million will be on it.
But there are big problems with the flagship new system – it takes 5 weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.
And while working families can claim back up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – we’ve heard of families waiting up to 6 months for the money.
Working parents across the country told us they’ve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.
It’s time to Make Universal Credit work. We want the Government to:
- Get paid faster: The Government must slash the time Brits wait for their first Universal Credit payments from five to two weeks, helping stop 7 million from being pushed into debt.
- Keep more of what you earn:The work allowance should be increased and the taper rate should be slashed from 63p to 50p, helping at least 4 million families.
- Don’t get punished for having a family: Parents should get the 85 per cent of the money they can claim for childcare upfront instead of being paid in arrears.
Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.
Join our Universal Credit Facebook group or email [email protected] to share your story.
Last night Boris said: “Both Jeremy and I are big fans of Amber."
“I note she has said something progressive about keeping no deal in our armory … I think that’s great.”
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