Universal Credit will be debated in Parliament today and the JPIT churches have sent a briefing to every MP outlining our concerns. The briefing outlines some of the key problems but the central message is simple: Universal Credit’s processes suit the lives of the relatively well-off, the people who designed it, but fails to take into account the lives of real people struggling against poverty.
The benefit’s design assumes people have 6-weeks’.
An Advance Payment is available to some families and is a loan of 2 weeks money, leaving the family without support for 4-weeks http://jpit.uk/universal-credit-david-gaukes-inadequate-answer-to-a-huge-problem/ living expenses in the bank, have internet access and IT skills. All of this is the norm for some sections of society but for others it is miles away from where they are. Universal Credit needs to be able to serve these people and currently it doesn’t – instead it pitches them into debt, rent arrears and foodbank use.
What has been surprising is the number of churches, ministers and others that have contacted JPIT about Universal Credit. The level of concern is huge and the because Universal Credit is so complex and all-encompassing, the sheer variety of problems is enormous.
Universal Credit is going to happen. It has some good aspects, but it needs substantial changes before it proceeds. If you have stories of Universal Credit from your are – good or bad – we would love to hear them.