Closed petition Universal Credit applicants to receive adequate payments throughout assessment.

Currently Universal Credit applicants can have no income for a minimum of 6 weeks after application. This causes hardship and distress and a legacy of debt and arrears. They need an income, not a loan. Citizens Advice report the wait for first Universal Credit payments can be as long as 10 weeks.

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Housing Associations and private landlords have the right to trigger eviction after 8 weeks of rent arrears. COSLA has found that in areas where full rollout of Universal Credit has taken place, the level of rent arrears is at least 2.5 times that of those areas still in receipt of housing benefit. Last year, foodbanks in areas of full Universal Credit rollout have seen a 16.85% average increase in referrals for emergency food, more than double the national average of 6.64%.

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Other parliamentary business

MPs investigate Universal Credit rollout

A group of MPs called the Work and Pensions Committee are currently investigating Universal Credit rollout. You can find out more here: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/inquiry/

If you are self-employed and receive Universal Credit they particularly want to hear from you. Find out more and send them your views here: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/universal-credit-self-employed-forum-17-19/

Other recent debates and work in Parliament about Universal Credit:

  • On 5 December, MPs debated Universal Credit Project Assessment Review

You can read the debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-12-05/debates/07B953FE-5E97-46E4-9A2C-68F4FC91D739/UniversalCreditProjectAssessmentReviews

You can watch/ listen to the debate here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/4db75290-a512-421a-8789-b6c075313a86?in=14:38:12

  • On 23 November, the government made a statement about changes to Universal Credit, and MPs asked questions.

You can read the statement here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-11-23/debates/36EF5FEE-7FB1-4841-A242-7625ED73FCA0/UniversalCredit
You can watch the statement here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/d9ac6d17-0222-4489-99c7-862d43f1c20b?in=11:47:39

  • On 22 November the Government announced some changes to Universal Credit. It told the House of Commons that it will: • remove the 7 day wait so that entitlement starts on the day of application • increase the amount that can be advanced before payment begins

It also told the House of Commons that:
• those already on Housing Benefit will continue to receive their award for the first two weeks of their Universal Credit claim
• to support these changes the Government will roll out Universal Credit more gradually between February 2018 and April 2018, and roll-out to all jobcentres will be complete in December 2018

These changes were announced in the Budget statement.
• You can read a summary of what the Budget statement said here: http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8153]
• You can find out more about the Budget here: http://www.parliament.uk/about/faqs/house-of-commons-faqs/budget/

  • On 16 November, MPs debated the roll-out of Universal Credit.

You can read the debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-11-16/debates/1AC388D9-7E40-4996-BEC3-0AB3650A133F/UniversalCreditRoll-Out

You can watch/ listen to the debate here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/ff37bec3-e1dd-43b6-8719-e12be21a277e?in=12:53:00

  • On Wednesday 18 October MPs debated pausing the roll-out of Universal Credit full service.

You can watch the debate here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/afc8f66c-ce05-40a5-a3ab-b9665bc636b4?in=13:28:25

You can read the debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-10-18/debates/1AFAAEAD-A28E-4037-A38F-7D4CC41CC049/UniversalCreditRoll-Out

MPs debate the roll-out of Universal Credit

On Wednesday 18 October MPs debated pausing the roll-out of Universal Credit full service.

You can watch the debate here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/afc8f66c-ce05-40a5-a3ab-b9665bc636b4?in=13:28:25

You can read the debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-10-18/debates/1AFAAEAD-A28E-4037-A38F-7D4CC41CC049/UniversalCreditRoll-Out