DWP Faces Backlash Over Universal Credit Changes

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) recently went under fire for its plans to double the application time for parents on the current Universal Credit system. From the initial one month period, parents could file for claims for two months starting on October 3, 2019.

The Conservative Party’s decision did not sit well with the people, thus eliciting a backlash from the people. According to the Mirror, the party’s decision to double up the filing period comes after numerous statements from the public saying the cost reporting system lacked flexibility. The previous filing and cost reporting system allegedly lost the claimants up to £1,100 per month.

Changes in the Universal Credit scheme include parents and guardians paying up-front fees for childcare prior to reimbursing these fees. In response, detractors say up-front payments provide additional burden for parents, urging them to sell properties, take on additional loans, and do without necessities, reports Mirror.

Apart from doubling the application period, the Conservative Party also made other changes to the Universal Credit system. Express reports that these include lowering the repayment cap to a maximum of 30 percent per individual starting October 2, 2019. Following this decision, around 850,000 individuals in the United Kingdom are slated to lose their support in attempts to pay debts or advanced payments.

To help alleviate the burden claimants are carrying, the Department for Work & Pensions states parents could gain additional monetary support from the government should they take out more advanced payments. However, Express states that this offering is only available for new claimants.

The advancement payment offering is an interest-free credit that requires borrowers to pay it back through installments. The caveat is that payments must only be made from succeeding Universal Credit payments. Under this new offering, individuals are slated to see a 15% deduction from their current monthly support.

New changes expected to commence next month are done under the new department secretary Therese Coffey.