Four single mums have just won a Universal Credit appeal in High Court over a “fundamental problem” with the government’s scheme.
Over 60,000 people in Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are on Universal Credit. Over 10,000 of these claimants started from September last year.
According to the four women who made the appeal, who are from various areas of the United Kingdom, there are problems with the system nationwide.
The challenge came over the way in which the Department for Work and Pensions assesses what payments people receive. It was announced today that Erin Barrett, Danielle Johnson, Katie Stewart, and Claire Woods succeeded in their judicial review action against the government over this Universal Credit Appeal.
The assessment period lasts from the 1st of the month to the end of the month. If someone on Universal Credit is paid their month’s wages earlier than usual because of weekends or bank holidays, then it’s registered as them being paid twice in a month, significantly reducing their Universal Credit payment.
Continued Backtracking and Changes
The Universal Credit Appeal success comes after Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd performed a u-turn on plans to implement a two-child cap on Universal Credit claimants with children born before the new system was implemented.
Buzz News spoke to Tom Cave, Communications Officer for charity Turn2Us, who said: “We do welcome the government’s decision not to apply the two-child limit retrospectively, but should go further and review the justification and the impact of the entire policy.
As well as this, Rudd has also announced today that Universal Credit payments will be made directly to women if they are the main carer of their households. This is a change from the previous system of “one payment per household,” often leaving payments being received by men in households. Advocacy groups have previously argued that this would leave women victims of domestic abuse unable to access funds to support their children.
In a speech today at a JobCentre in south London, Rudd said that “women can never be truly free until they have economic independence.”