Submission to SSAC consultation on universal credit managed migration

August 2018

The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC), an independent body of experts set up to advise the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on secondary legislation, has been consulting on the way people already claiming certain benefits will be moved onto universal credit. This process is called 'managed migration' - although this is a misnomer. 

We can all agree: children deserve our support

Politicians are always concerned about public opinion, and they often seek to shape it. But, despite their efforts, we know that public policy and public opinion do not always match, and two pieces of recent research illustrate this clearly. In July the latest British Social Attitudes Survey was published, and showed strongly that the public thinks the government should financially support those in low paid work.

Cost of a Child in 2018 released

20 August 2018

CPAG's latest Cost of a Child report shows what it costs to raise a child to age 18, based on what the public thinks is a minimum standard of living.

The overall cost of a child (including rent and childcare) is £150,753 for a couple and £183,335 for a lone parent.

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The cost of a child in 2018

August 20, 2018
WORKING FAMILIES FALL SHORT OF MINIMUM LIVING STANDARD

The overall cost of a child over 18 years (including rent and childcare) is £150, 753 for a couple and £183,335 for a lone parent. But work doesn’t pay low-income families enough to meet a no-frills standard of living, new research from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows.(1)

A combination of rising prices, benefits and tax credits freezes, the introduction of the benefit cap and two-child limit, the bedroom tax, cuts to housing benefits and the rolling out of Universal Credit have hit family budgets hard. Life has been getting progressively tougher for families on low or modest incomes over the past ten years, with families on in-work and out-of-work benefits hardest hit, the report warns. 

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Something needs saying about universal credit and women – it is discrimination by design

At a recent meeting on women and poverty, I was asked to speak about universal credit (UC). It forced me to think about the ways in which UC is hugely problematic for women, particularly mothers. Eventually I concluded it was a case of discrimination by design. Here’s how it goes.

Last minute booking availability on training courses

13 August 2018

We have a few places left on the following courses coming up in the next few weeks - and still time to book your place;

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Too simple: the failure of universal credit assessment periods

In the ‘simple’ world of universal credit, monthly assessment periods are the supposedly ‘neat’ way of judging what financial support families should get based on their earnings and circumstances. For example, if someone starts earning more their universal credit is reduced.

SLAB Recruitment Opportunity

6 August 2018

Are you an experienced housing or benefits adviser, supervisor or trainer interested in making a difference?

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New report on monthly assessment in universal credit

6 August 2018

Our new report 'Rough justice' documents the problems caused by monthly assessment of pay and circumstances in universal credit, based on cases from our Early Warning System, and proposes solutions. 

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Universal credit assessment system is leaving claimants out of pocket

August 6, 2018

Working people claiming universal credit are having their benefits capped when they shouldn’t be, and losing the effects of ‘work allowances’ worth up to £258 per month simply because of the dates on which their paydays and universal credit 'assessment periods' happen to fall, new evidence from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows. Last month the Work and Pensions Secretary acknowledged the need to look at “ … payment cycles for those in work.” (3)

 In the worst cases workers are losing hundreds of pounds each year simply because their paydays clash with the monthly 'assessment periods' in universal credit (UC). Far from offering much-vaunted simplicity, universal credit rules leave many workers unable to predict what their payments will be from one month to the next. People who happen to move house at the ‘wrong’ point in their assessment period can also lose hundreds of pounds in help with rent.

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