The Universal Credit system must be changed to help Britons manage their money “much more effectively”, a campaign has demanded. Typical payments are received on the same date each month, with the normal pay day being fixed at seven days after the end of the assessment period. However, 38 Degrees Campaign Manager Cathy Warren spoke to Express.co.uk about why this has become a “difficulty”.
She said: “One thing that comes up in surveys every time we talk to members that claim Universal Credit is the difficulty of the monthly payment.
“Being able to make that even a fortnightly payment would allow people to manage their money much more effectively.”
Ms Warren also gave more ways that the system could be improved to make sure “as much money is going into people’s pockets as is possible”.
She said: “I think the Lords committee report covers quite a lot of the core parts of the changes that need to be made.”
READ MORE: Universal Credit: Tax credit debt making claimants lose third of pay
The campaign manager continued: “I think one is to cancel the tax credit debt.
“So many people owe the Government money on tax credit through no fault of their own due to errors in the tracking.
“That means people can lose a third of their Universal Credit payment.
“The Government tries to take back that debt through Universal Credit.”
Nearly 100,000 people have already signed 38 Degrees’ petition demanding that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak urgently review Universal Credit.
Research with 1,904 people claiming Universal Credit, of which 37 percent are new claimants since the coronavirus pandemic, reveals that for more than four out of five (84 percent) Universal Credit payments just aren’t enough to cover food, rent, bills and other essential living costs.
More than 5.6 million households in the UK rely on Universal Credit just to get by.
Ending the £20-a-week increase is predicted to push an estimated 700,000 of the lowest income households into poverty.
Currently the pandemic boost is scheduled to end in April 2021.