Universal credit

Charity calls for suspension of UC deductions

30/06/2022

Suspending deductions from UC for Government debt would help over a million low income households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, researchers say.

Teaching unions call for expansion of free school meal eligibility

01/06/2022

Teaching unions have called on the Government to extend free school meals to all families on Universal Credit (UC).

Universal Credit failing to meet basic cost of living, charity warns

17/05/2022

The £20 per week cut to Universal Credit (UC) means that the benefit is failing to meet the basic cost of living, a children’s charity has warned.

Chancellor urged to use £20bn windfall to support struggling households

11/05/2022

The Chancellor should use some of the reported £20bn fiscal windfall to provide emergency support to squeezed households, report says.

Benefit cuts force record 2.1 million households to rely on food banks

27/04/2022

The reduction in Universal Credits payments and the cost of living crisis have forced millions of people to rely on food bank parcels, Trussell Trust warns.

Around 900,000 benefit claimants face UC cuts

26/04/2022

An estimated 900,000 benefit claimants will see a cut to their payments as the move to the Universal Credit (UC) scheme is resumed.

Cost of living crisis risks leaving levelling up ‘dead on arrival’

07/04/2022

The Government’s levelling up agenda could be undermined by a deepening North-South divide exacerbated by the cost of living crisis, a think tank has warned.

Universal Credit cut forced 400,000 children into poverty

01/04/2022

Around 400,000 children were pulled out of poverty when UC was increased £20 per week, but these children were pushed back into poverty when UC was cut.

Landlords call for ‘absurd’ housing benefit freeze to be lifted

01/04/2022

Landlords have called on the Government to unfreeze the Local Housing Allowance to cover the average rent.

Spring statement: Sunak to tackle cost of living pressures

23/03/2022

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to tackle increasing pressure on household budgets when he makes his Spring Statement today.

Two in five Brits claiming Universal Credit forced into debt

17/03/2022

The Chancellor is being urged to bring benefit levels in line with rate of inflation as hundreds of thousands of families struggle to cope with cost of living.

Trade unions call for £200 fuel loan to be a grant

07/03/2022

Trade unions have called on the Government to protect working families against further energy price rises as a result of the Ukraine crisis.

Getting to grips with HBAAI

22/02/2022

Steven Rybaruk explains how intelligent case selection can lighten the load for councils.

Homelessness levels could rise by a third by 2024, research warns

22/02/2022

The number of homeless people in England could increase by a third by 2024, new research has warned today.

Universal Credit would be better delivery vehicle for energy bills support

17/02/2022

Universal Credit has the data on those likely to need support with energy bills and would be a more effective way to target the £150 council tax rebate, says Deven Ghelani.

Workers on universal credit face ‘perfect storm’, TUC warns

07/02/2022

Low-income workers face a ‘perfect storm’ this April with universal credit (UC) falling behind the cost of living as energy bills and taxes rise, TUC say.

Benefit reforms could lead to 'poorer health' campaigners warn

27/01/2022

Plans to reform Universal Credit to move half a million people into jobs by the end of June could lead to poorer health, a charity has warned.

Calls for urgent reform of UK’s welfare system

24/01/2022

The UK’s social security system is failing to protect low-income families from extreme hardship and urgently needs reforming, researchers have warned.

Millions of people facing financial crisis this winter, charity warns

26/11/2021

A charity has called for urgent action after finding more than three million families are facing financial crisis this winter.

IFS reveals scope of Universal Credit

08/11/2021

Budget changes to Universal Credit mean families with well above-average earnings and even paying 40% rates of tax could be entitled to the benefit, according to an Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report.

Families with children to lose £20 a week over winter

27/09/2021

A typical low-income family with children could see their income fall by over £20 a week over the next six months, a think tank has warned.

Kerslake: Government must act now on rough sleeping

23/09/2021

Strides made to end homelessness during the pandemic could be lost if the Government does not act now, a major new report on rough sleeping has concluded.

Think tank calls for 'fairer' welfare system

20/09/2021

The welfare system should reintroduce a clear link between contribution and reward, according to the results of a three-year research programme.

Report warns UC uplift is 'lifeline' for vulnerable young people

15/09/2021

Vulnerable young people leaving supported housing will be disproportionately affected by the cut to Universal Credit, a new report has warned.

One in ten care workers 'trapped' on Universal Credit

13/09/2021

One in ten care workers are in receipt of in-work benefits, analysis by GMB has revealed.

COVID welfare claimants seen as more deserving than pre-pandemic claimants

02/09/2021

New research has revealed that COVID-19 benefit claimants are seen as much more deserving of welfare support than pre-pandemic claimants.

Devolved governments express ‘grave concerns’ over welfare cuts

31/08/2021

The devolved governments have written to the UK Government expressing ‘grave concerns’ regarding plans to withdraw a £20-per-week increase to UC.

Universal Credit cuts to force two million people into debt

26/08/2021

Government plans to cut Universal Credit this October could push 2.3 million people into the red, Citizens Advice warns.

Keep up COVID funding to end homelessness, says Kerslake

27/07/2021

Ending homelessness is possible, but the Government needs to keep up funding or face a post-pandemic surge, an independent commission concluded.

Study warns private landlords are reducing their housing benefit lettings

24/06/2021

The number of private landlords willing to let to housing benefit tenants is falling due to the way Universal Credit is administered, a study has warned today.

Report finds 200,000 people ineligible for UC due to partner’s earnings

18/05/2021

Hundreds of thousands of people are ineligible for benefits despite facing financial insecurity due to the coronavirus pandemic, study reveals.

Confusion and stigma stopped half a million people claiming UC during pandemic

20/04/2021

Around half a million people failed to claim for Universal Credit during the start of the pandemic despite being eligible for the benefit, new research has found.

UC claimants given access to longer work-related training

01/04/2021

An initiative aimed at increasing access to training for UC claimants will see an extension to the time people can receive UC during work-focused study.

Budget 2021: Sunak warns of pain to come

03/03/2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a budget to protect ‘livelihood and jobs’ – with a warning of public finance pain to come.

Budget 2021: Universal credit boost extended for six months

03/03/2021

The £20 uplift to Universal Credit has been extended for a further six months, the chancellor has confirmed in his Budget today.

BUDGET 2021: Sunak's lifeline for workers and business

03/03/2021

Rishi Sunak’s Budget is expected to provide a lifeline for workers as the furlough scheme is extended to September while the universal credit £20 uplift could also be prolonged for six months.

Household food insecurity at 'crisis' levels warns report

02/03/2021

The Government must make food insecurity a priority and move away from short-term emergency measures, a new report has urged today.

MPs calls for year-long extension of Universal Credit uplift

09/02/2021

Mps have urged the chancellor to extend the £20 weekly increase for Universal Credit for at least a year to stop hundreds of thousands of people falling into poverty.

Charity warns of soaring food bank use if UC uplift ends

04/02/2021

One in five people on Universal Credit are 'very likely' to use a food bank if the £20 weekly uplift is removed, new research has found.

Universal Credit £20 uplift ‘blunt policy instrument’, says think tank

25/01/2021

A think tank has described the £20 uplift to UC as a poorly targeted ‘blunt policy instrument’ and proposed its replacement with a ‘hardship payment’.

Council chiefs call for restoration of local welfare funding

13/01/2021

Local authority leaders have called on the Government to restore local welfare funding as a study warns of the impact the pandemic is having on people who were already struggling with poverty.

Lockdown piles extra financial pressures on low income families

12/01/2021

The extra cost of food, energy, and entertaining and home-schooling children has meant that low-income families with children are twice as likely to have increased their spending during the pandemic, according to a new study.

One million households face UC debt deductions

07/01/2021

More than one million households who were forced to claim universal credit (UC) when coronavirus struck are having debt deductions taken from their benefit payments, according to a child poverty charity.

Councils urged to back £20 Universal Credit uplift

10/12/2020

Councils have been urged to lobby the Government to make the £20 uplift in Universal Credit permanent by trade union Unite.

Study highlights ‘appalling’ rise in destitution in the UK

09/12/2020

The number of people experiencing destitution in the UK has increased by 54% in two years, a new study has found.

Faith leaders call for ‘cross-party strategy’ for tackling child poverty

02/11/2020

Faith leaders praise footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to extend free school meals and urge the Prime Minister to establish a cross-party commission with the mandate and resources to tackle child poverty in England.

MPs call for ‘starter payment’ to support new UC claimants

19/10/2020

A starter payment should be made to people claiming Universal Credit (UC) for the first time to ensure that they have enough money for the basics, MPs say.

Universal Credit does not cover ‘basic day to day living costs’, campaigners say

13/10/2020

Four in five people claiming Universal Credit do not have enough money to cover rent, food and bills, shocking new research reveals.

Automated benefit system 'pushing people into poverty'

30/09/2020

The UK’s automated benefits systems is threatening the rights of people most at risk of poverty, campaigners have warned.

Thousands of families face ‘bleakest’ winter, charity warns

14/09/2020

A new report from a children’s charity has warned of a ‘bleak’ winter with thousands of families set to be plunged into financial crisis.

A third more families with children now claiming universal credit

12/08/2020

Over 400,000 more families with children started claiming universal credit since the start of the pandemic, a charity has said.

Lords call for reform of 'failing' Universal Credit system

31/07/2020

A Lords committee has urged the Government to substantially reform Universal Credit to protect the most vulnerable.

London boroughs face £23m rent arrears due to Universal Credit

22/07/2020

The rollout of Universal Credit is leading to thousands of council tenants falling behind on rent payments, new research commissioned by London Councils has found.

Call to 'supercharge' early years services

17/07/2020

Early years services are failing to target the children that most need support, a report has warned today.

Nearly two thirds of families on Universal Credit stuck in debt ‘nightmare’

18/06/2020

Two charities have called on the Government to increase the child element of UC by £20 to help struggling families ‘stay afloat’ during the Covid lockdown.

Councils call for tougher action on ruthless loan sharks

08/06/2020

Council leaders are calling for tougher sentences for loan sharks who are pushing vulnerable people further into debt.

Politicians calls for universal basic income to jumpstart economy

22/04/2020

The Government has been urged to make Universal Basic Income a crucial part of its coronavirus recovery plan by 110 MPs and Peers.

Figures show 400% monthly increase in benefit claims

21/04/2020

New claims for Universal Credit have increased by at least 400% in the past two months, new figures have revealed.

Millions of renters expect to lose their job in next three months

16/04/2020

One in five private renters in England expect to lose their job in the next three months due to the coronavirus crisis, new research has revealed.

Universal credit 'is key to hardship', says think tank

02/04/2020

Universal credit is the ‘key to many families avoiding real hardship’, the Resolution Foundation think tank has claimed.

Nearly 500,000 new Universal Credit claims made in nine days

26/03/2020

A think tank has warned that the UK is in the midst of an unemployment crisis as 477,000 new Universal Credit (UC) claims are made in nine days.

Study finds 64,000 UC recipients suffer ‘psychological distress’

02/03/2020

New research has found that tens of thousands of people have experienced ‘psychological distress’ due to the introduction of Universal Credit (UC).

Universal Credit causing 'debt and destitution' charity warns

23/01/2020

Universal Credit is driving vulnerable people to use loan sharks, a debt charity has warned today.

Universal Credit creating ‘a complex mix of winners and losers’

21/01/2020

The impact Universal Credit is having on different parts of the country is being ‘ignored’ a think tank has warned today.

Benefits payments at lowest level since 1948, says think tank

19/11/2019

Social security payments are at their lowest level since the 1948, a new report from a think tank has found.

Labour pledges to scrap Universal Credit

30/09/2019

Labour has promised to replace ‘inhumane’ Universal Credit with a new social security system.

Universal Credit drives food bank use, charity says

19/09/2019

A report from the main provider of food banks has warned that the roll out of Universal Credit has been a major factor behind the increase in food bank use.

Universal Credit driving tenants into rent arrears, study says

23/08/2019

Universal Credit is causing tenants to fall behind in their rent, new research from a group representing landlords has revealed.

Poverty result of ‘political decisions’, MPs say

31/07/2019

The poverty and destitution levels in the UK are the result of political decisions made since 2010, MPs have said.

Universal Credit should come with ‘health warning’, MPs say

23/07/2019

The Department for Work and Pensions should develop ‘clear and comprehensive guidance’ on when a benefit claimant is to be moved onto Universal Credit, MPs have said.

Universal Credit appeals blocked by ‘error and failures’, charity finds

19/07/2019

Universal Credit claimants who suspect the Department for Work and Pensions has made a mistake in their award are too often blocked by ‘error and failures’ in the system, a new study finds.

Universal Credit draining council resources

15/07/2019

Universal Credit (UC) is draining resources from councils, a new survey has found.

UC payment delays should be no more than a week, MPs say

11/07/2019

Two independent MPs have called for Universal Credit payments to begin within a week of registering for the benefit.

Housing association calls for an end to the 5-week wait for UC payments

26/06/2019

Housing association called for an end to the 5-week wait for Universal Credit payments after survey revealed two fifths of claimants forced to use food banks.

Whitehall blasted for trying to solve homelessness ‘on a shoestring’

20/06/2019

An assessment of the state of homelessness prevention has criticised Whitehall for trying to solve the homelessness crisis ‘on a shoestring’.

Universal credit causing rent arrears, MSPs warn

12/06/2019

The Scottish Parliament has called for immediate action to tackle the problem of rent arrears it says have been caused by the Universal Credit system.

London parents 'locked out' of work due to rising childcare costs

06/06/2019

Nearly two in three local authorities in London do not have enough childcare to meet the demand from parents of school-age children, new research has revealed.

Welfare reforms put pressure on struggling families, report warns

13/05/2019

A new study looking at the impact of welfare reforms on child vulnerability has found that a quarter of children in low income families are unable to make ends meet.

Universal Credit ‘key driver’ behind increase in foodbank use

25/04/2019

The number of food parcels given out across the UK has gone up 73% in five years, according to a major charity.

MPs to investigate link between Universal Credit and ‘survival sex’

19/03/2019

Reports that increasing numbers of people are being forced to exchange sex to meet basic needs due to welfare reforms are to be investigated by MPs.

Think tank recommends ‘helping hand’ payments for UC claimants

11/03/2019

Universal Credit claimants should receive an upfront ‘helping hand’ payment and financial compensation for late payments, think tank says.

Benefits system causing ‘serious psychological distress’

04/03/2019

The benefits system is causing people with mental health problems ‘serious psychological distress’, a charity has revealed.

Universal Credit claimants are falling behind on housing payments warns Citizens Advice

06/02/2019

A cut in the time people have to wait for payment of Universal Credit has made no difference to the number struggling with debt, according to campaigners.

Disabled Universal Credit claimants take DWP to court for ‘irrational’ decision

23/01/2019

Two households are challenging the Department for Work and Pensions in court after being forced to move to UC and losing hundreds of pounds as a result.

Rudd to announce reforms to Universal Credit system

11/01/2019

A series of measures to reform Universal Credit are due to be announced today by the work and pensions secretary.

DWP’s interpretation of Universal Credit regulations ‘unlawful’, court rules

11/01/2019

The High Court today has ruled that the way the Department for Work and Pensions interprets Universal Credit regulations is ‘unlawful’.

Rudd delays Universal Credit rollout

07/01/2019

Work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd has delayed the next phase of the Universal Credit (UC) rollout amid ongoing concerns over the controversial system.

Universal Credit potentially ‘disastrous’ for disabled people

19/12/2018

MPs have warned of potentially 'disastrous' consequences for disabled people if the Universal Credit benefits system goes ahead as currently planned.

Universal Credit bad for people's health - academics

15/11/2018

Universal Credit (UC) is bad for health and wellbeing, academics have found in a new study commissioned by Gateshead MBC.

Universal Credit reforms to help 200,000 families

12/11/2018

The Universal Credit reforms announced as part of the budget means an additional 200,000 families will be better off under the new benefit system, compared to the old one.

Universal Credit claimants given more time to switch over

06/11/2018

Universal Credit claimants are to be given more time to switch to the new benefit after warnings from campaigners and MPs that payment delays were causing hardship for vulnerable people.

Budget 2018: Billion-pound Universal Credit pledge

29/10/2018

A billion pounds has been promised in an attempt to ease benefits claimants’ transition to Universal Credit.

Liverpool mayor calls for ‘fair funding formula’ for councils

29/10/2018

The mayor of Liverpool has called for a Royal Commission to ensure a ‘fair funding formula’ for local council services.

Universal Credit ‘retrograde’ step in tackling domestic abuse

22/10/2018

Single household payments under UC are a ‘retrograde’ step which makes it difficult for victims of domestic violence to escape their abuser, according to MPs.

Council chiefs welcome Universal Credit roll-out delay

17/10/2018

Local authority leaders have welcomed Whitehall's decision to delay the roll out of Universal Credit but expressed concerns over the bill for housing support.

Landlords warn Universal Credit driving tenants into rent arrears

15/10/2018

Almost two-thirds of private landlords with tenants receiving Universal Credit have experienced them going into rent arrears, a landlord association has revealed.

Universal Credit driving welfare claimants to foodbanks, charity says

05/10/2018

The next stage in the change to Universal Credit could lead to a big increase in the use of foodbanks, anti-poverty campaigners have warned.

Universal Credit chief admits support is not working

01/10/2018

The civil servant in charge of the Universal Credit rollout has admitted support for claimants has not been effective, as responsibility was handed to the charity sector.

Charity to provide DWP-funded Universal Credit support

01/10/2018

The charity Citizens Advice is to start providing Government-backed support to help Universal Credit claimants navigate the new welfare system.

What are councils spending on discretionary housing payments?

18/09/2018

Local authorities are spending record sums on emergency payments to households that otherwise face eviction by private or social landlords. Neil Merrick investigates.

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