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Budget 2017: three universal credit reforms to provide greater financial security

21 November 2017

Fifteen charities have worked together to propose three policies for the budget on November 22, to help move towards “greater financial security for all”

The three proposals are -

  1. Make work pay: Restore Universal Credit work allowances (the level or earnings above which UC starts to be withdrawn)
  2. Fix Universal Credit delaysPay Universal Credit after two weeks
  3. Help incomes to rise in line with living costsEnd the freeze on Child Benefit and other social security payments such as Local Housing Allowances

A briefing note, Financial Security - Three Proposals for the Autumn Budget is available @

https://afairsay.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/briefing.pdf

DR UK says that while all three Universal Credit reforms would be welcome, real changes needed go beyond the obvious, and include the restoration of the premiums abolished with the introduction of Universal Credit.

The severe disability premium (SDP) currently gives additional support to disabled adults who receive:

  • the middle rate or higher rate of the care component of DLA; or
  • the standard or enhanced PIP daily living component; and
  • live on their own; and
  • no one is paid carer’s allowance for assisting them.

This additional support helps to cover the extra costs of both living alone with a disability and having no carer. SDP is abolished under universal credit. This will cost disabled adults with no one to care for them, or with only a young carer, about £62.45 per week (£3,250 per year).

You qualify for an Enhanced Disability Premium (EDP) if you are under Pension Credit age and receive DLA higher rate care component or PIP Daily Living component enhanced rate. You can also qualify for an enhanced disability premium if you receive ESA and are in the support group. EDP is abolished under universal credit. This will cost disabled adults £15.90 per week (£825 per year).

We urge Government to incorporate the severe disability premium and the enhanced disability premium into Universal Credit to reflect the established fact that disabled people have extra costs due to their disability.

As well as Disability Rights UK, this group includes -

Child Poverty Action Group; Church Action on Poverty; Community Links; The Equality Trust Family and Childcare Trust; Fawcett Society; Gingerbread; Mental Health Foundation; Refugee Council; Shelter; The Children’s Society; Trust for London; Women’s Aid; Women’s Budget Group.