Budget announcements on Universal Credit welcome but not enough to make work pay

Posted 22 November 2017

The Government’s second budget of the year has made welcome and long-needed changes. But it has failed to reverse harsh cuts that are falling on the very families it has promised to support.

Responding to the Budget, Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of Gingerbread said:

“Once again the government has failed to address support for families who are ‘just about managing’. With almost one in four families single parent families, children across the UK will continue to face the risk of poverty unless the Government re-thinks its current economic policies and shifts the balance away from responding to the political weather, towards genuine support for families.

Cutting Universal Credit waiting times and extending the repayment period for advances are welcome changes for which Gingerbread has been calling. But it is the tip of the iceberg – with significant welfare cuts continuing to undermine the Government’s mantra that it will ‘make work pay’.

Working families on low wages are facing huge losses under Universal Credit, with single parent families particularly badly hit. Reversing cuts to the work allowance would be a more effective measure to make a real difference to these family’s lives. Working single parents will lose £800 a year on average compared to the current system due to the work allowance.

Without this change and with the cost of living set to rise, spiralling debt, rent arrears and increasing levels of poverty will continue to be the reality for most single parent families moving onto Universal Credit. Most single parents are in work but many are living in poverty. Work is simply not paying.”

Read more about Universal Credit and Gingerbread’s recommendations for reform.

2 comments on “Budget announcements on Universal Credit welcome but not enough to make work pay

  1. Single parents should be able to keep more of what the earn. I don’t see why they needed to change it from tax credits as its not that hard to work out.
    To taper away at 61p in the pound after a very low monthly threshold ( not yearly) is greed by the torie party. Personally i feel this will break many hard working single parents . As if life isn’t hard enough on your own with children . Then been told to look for jobs 30 hours plus a week who’s looking after the childern??. Oh hang on they can drag themselves up can’t they. It’s madness and single parents should get a better deal here. Work doesn’t pay on this system.
    Couple of years ago i wrote to my local MP about the changes to working tax credits . They wanted to cut the threshold,they u turned on that because they knew at some point they would get their way with universal credit. At the moment I’m still on tax credits but have many friends who have been moved to this poverty benefit. Who are finding week to week a struggle making ends meet.

  2. I completely agree you Gill. I have been made to feel less than a human being just for being a lone parent. My daughter us 10 years old I am currently and mercifully I should say on tax credits I work 20 hours a week whilst my daughter is at school and just so grateful for the work I have.
    Last year I was made redundant from a place of work where I’d been for 5 years.
    When I sort advice from citizens advice they said I can’t use my then 9year old daughter as an excuse not to work longer hours and to leave my 9 year old child at home on her own and look for full time employment.
    As you can imagine I complained . But the worry is under universal credit there will be parents who have to choose putting their children at risk by leaving them to fend for themselves and work these hour UC are asking or have the worry about being sanctioned if you don’t do what they ask.
    The school my child goes to has no after school club no one will pick her up from school for me and I can’t move her to another school. Soi am dreading having to move on to UC eventually.

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