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60 ways to fix Universal Credit

  • 19/07/2019
  • Author:Liam.Evans@turn2us.org.uk

“We can redesign Universal Credit so that it helps”

amber rudd

An inquiry report outlining recommendations to improve the new Universal Credit (UC) benefit system has been launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Universal Credit.

The group – which is chaired by Ruth George MP and attended by politicians from across the political spectrum – have come together with independent organisations, charities and welfare claimants to produce a thorough set of proposals that will improve UC and make it fit-for-purpose for those who need support.

The report is built on the foundations of APPG meetings and evidence sessions. It contains very practical suggestions from people with lived experience to enable it to better support those with insufficient income. These include:

  • End the five week wait

  • Make payments fortnightly by default

  • Spilt payments to each member of a couple

  • End the Benefits Freeze and the Two-child Limit

  • Extend Free School Meals and free prescriptions to all Universal Credit claimants

  • Pay childcare costs in advance

  • People with health conditions and disabilities should be exempt from work requirements whilst they are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment or tribunal

  • Abolish the Minimum Income Floor for self-employed people and average incomes over 3 months, using Make Tax Digital information.

View the full All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Universal Credit or the Universal Credit report summary.

Turn2us provide the secretariat for the APPG, which was established for Members of both Houses of Parliament of all parties to be able to come together to:

  • Discuss the experiences of their own constituents with Universal Credit,
  • Receive advice and support from experts in the field
  • Share best practice in supporting constituents and to monitor practical experiences of this critical policy as it is rolled out.

APPG Chair Ruth George, MP for High Peak, said:

“Universal Credit is the most important reform of welfare policy for decades. We share a responsibility to get it right.

“Many constituents report practical difficulties which leave them struggling to get by and can make it more difficult to move into work or to get on in work. We can redesign Universal Credit so that it helps to unlock opportunities for people who are having a hard time.

“We hope ministers in the Department for Work and Pensions will engage with our practical solutions which will dramatically improve the experiences of people living on Universal Credit.”

Thomas Lawson, CEO at Turn2us, said:

“Debt, homelessness and foodbank usage are all on the rise and linked to the introduction of Universal Credit. But we can and should fix it.

“Universal Credit has the capacity to bring our welfare benefits system into the 21st century and help people to thrive when they most need it. However there are fundamental problems that need to be addressed. This reports sets out a straightforward case for improvement.”

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