There will be an Opposition Day Debate on Universal Credit on Tuesday 5th December in the Commons Chamber. This Commons Library landing page contains recent Library briefings, parliamentary material, press releases, and Government material.
At this point, these papers have not been updated to take account of the changes announced in the Autumn Budget 2017 on 23 November. The key changes are listed below:
The evidence session on 29 November heard from experts from the Resolution Foundation, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Low Income Tax Reform Group, and Policy in Practice, who all gave their views on the Budget announcements and on wider issues concerning Universal Credit which they believe should be addressed.
Following on from this, the Work and Pensions Committee has announced a further call for evidence to help inform its rolling programme of work on UC. It is requesting submissions on a number of areas, namely:
In addition to new submissions, the Committee would welcome updates on submissions made to its earlier inquiry on Self-employment and the gig economy.
- What effect has UC had on self-employed people?
How can the Department best balance protecting public funds with supporting self-employed people in UC? Does the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) achieve this balance?
- Are any groups of self-employed people particularly likely to be affected by the MIF?
What are the options for reforming the MIF, and what are their cost implications?
- Is the existing Start-up Period for newly self-employed UC claimants appropriate? If not, what changes should be made and how much would these cost?
- To what extent will UC Surplus Earnings Rules offset the impact of the MIF?
- How should “gainful self-employment” be defined under UC? For example, should “gig economy” workers be eligible to claim UC as self-employed?
- What is the relationship between the MIF and National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage? Is there a risk that removing or reforming the MIF would undermine the NLW/NMW?
Free School Meals and passported benefits
- How should eligibility for Free School Meals in UC be determined?
- How can eligibility criteria for passported benefits balance UC work incentives with achieving value for money? Is this balance currently being achieved?
- Are current eligibility criteria for other passported benefits (eg. help with health costs and the Healthy Start Scheme) appropriate? If not, how should they be reformed?
- What would be the impact of adjusting a) the taper rate or b) UC work allowances on employment incentives in UC? Which option for reform would be most cost-effective?
- Should UC have different taper rates and/or work allowances for different claimant groups?
- How can the Department help UC claimants better understand the impact on their incomes of moving into work or taking on more hours?
- How important is Universal Support to the success of UC?
- Is Universal Support working well, and how could it be improved?
- Are there local variations in the quality of Universal Support? If so, how should these be addressed?
- Are UC systems for reporting childcare costs easy for claimants to use? How might they be improved?
DWP, 23 November 2017
DWP, November 2017
Rightsnet, 23 November 2017
This sets out the policy changes to Universal Credit outlined in the Budget.
DWP, 29 November 2017
Landlord portal - the DWP has published a list of landlords due to move onto the landlord portal in 2017. Housing associations have welcomed access to the portal as it speeds up rent verification and cuts down on staff time. There is a Q&A on the portal
Child Poverty Action Group, 22 November 2017
Child Poverty Action Group's response to the Budget announcements.
Citizen's Advice, 23 November 2017
National Housing Federation, 22 November 2017
Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, 22 November 2017
Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0249
Authors: Andrew Mackley; Steven Kennedy; Wendy Wilson