Fixing Universal Credit – seeking MP support
Citizens Advice Dudley Borough believes the aims of Universal Credit – to simplify the benefit system and make work pay – are right. However, Citizens Advice analysis shows that Universal Credit is currently pushing people further into debt, and placing an even greater strain on local public services. Importantly, it found that people who came to Citizens Advice about debt on Universal Credit are significantly more likely to have rent and Council Tax arrears than clients using the old benefit system.
Last week, the government published research that corroborates this analysis. The Department of Work and pensions data shows that 1 in 4 people are being left without any income for over 6 weeks. This means that more than 11,000 families each month are going more than 6 weeks with no income. It also confirms that people on UC are falling into rent arrears, with over 2 in 5 saying this was due to problems with the benefit.
We would like the Government to pause Universal Credit roll-out and fix these problems so that:
- No one is left waiting longer than 6 weeks for an income.
- Those who need it get a payment within 2 weeks, which they do not need to pay back.
- People have access to a minimum standard of support to help them adapt to Universal Credit, which is published.
In line with this we have contacted the local MPs to gain their support to achieve these goals and we await their responses.
Lorraine Hume – Team Leader