WORKING families on Universal Credit are set to get another £630 a year thanks to new rules that kick in today.
The work allowance has been raised by £1,000 over the year letting you hold onto more of your hard earned cash.
The Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said in The Sun that the benefits boost will make Universal Credit "fairer and more flexible" for hard up families.
It's a step in the right direction but it's not enough. We want you to hold onto even more of your wages so we're campaigning to Make Universal Credit Work, calling on the Government to reduce the taper rate 50p too.
The Chancellor first announced the changes for working parents with dependant children, or adults with an illness that affects how much they can work, in October's Budget last year.
Universal Credit payments are affected by how much you earn every month – for every £1 you earn over the work allowance the Government deducts 63p from your welfare payout.
How has the work allowance changed?
FROM today, working families will be able to hold on to another £630 a year of their earnings now that the working allowance has been raised by £1,000 a year.
This is what the rate rise actually means for your monthly budget:
- Old rate: £198
- New rate: £287
- Old rate: £409
- New rate: £503
The work allowance applies to single people or those in a couple who have dependent children or limited capability to work.
Workers who don't have children who depend on them are not entitled, meaning that every penny they earn is subject to the taper rate.
The work allowance is how much of your earnings you can hold onto before the taper rate kicks in.
There are two different rates for the work allowance depending on whether you get help with your housing costs.
Up until now, the lower work allowance for those who claim housing benefit has been set at £198.
But from today, the rate has risen to £287 meaning that you can hold on to another £89 a month.
Those who are claiming the higher work allowance rate – people who don't claim housing benefit – will hold onto another £94 a month now that the rate has been put up to £503 from £409.
The Sun wants to Make Universal Credit Work
UNIVERSAL Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.
One million people are already receiving it and by the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7 million will be on it.
But there are big problems with the flagship new system – it takes 5 weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.
And while working families can claim back up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – we’ve heard of families waiting up to 6 months for the money.
Working parents across the country told us they’ve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.
It’s time to Make Universal Credit work. We want the Government to:
- Get paid faster: The Government must slash the time Brits wait for their first Universal Credit payments from five to two weeks, helping stop 7 million from being pushed into debt.
- Keep more of what you earn: The work allowance should be increased and the taper rate should be slashed from 63p to 50p, helping at least 4 million families.
- Don’t get punished for having a family: Parents should get the 85 per cent of the money they can claim for childcare upfront instead of being paid in arrears.
Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.
Join our Universal Credit Facebook group or email [email protected] to share your story.
It will benefit millions of workers on Universal Credit who will also see a boost to their pay packets as the minimum wage increases.
Unfortunately, today's benefits boost won't help workers without children who are subjected to the taper rate for every penny that they earn.
At the time it was announced, Chancellor Philip Hammond said it was a response to concerns raised about how Universal Credit is pushing millions into poverty.
It's a step in the right direction – but it's not enough.
The taper rate stops people like single mum Tanya Lawson from making enough to pay the rent despite having three jobs because she can't afford the cut to her benefits if she took on more hours.
But if it was reduced, the changes would let vulnerable people hold on to another £100 a month, helping four million households out of poverty.
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The Sun also wants the five week waiting period new claimants face to be slashed to two weeks and for parents to get the help with 85 per cent of childcare costs paid upfront.
We've spoken to hundreds of claimants suffering on the new system.
One mum told us how she's left with £1.80 a day to feed her family of four, while Farzana Miah has been left begging for cash from strangers so she can put food on the table for her toddler.
Amber Rudd: "Universal Credit changes could put a spring in your step"
As the clocks go forward and families across Britain start to look forward to a deserved Easter break, there is extra reason to have a spring in your step.
How so? Well, from today you’ll start to notice a few changes in your finances.
If you’re a working family or a disabled person claiming Universal Credit you’ll see more money in your pocket.
That’s because the changes we’ve made to make Universal Credit work better for you kick in from today, meaning you’ll now be up to £630 a year better off thanks to the decisions by this government.
This is all part of our drive to ensure Universal Credit is working for everyone.
For example, since 2016 we’ve invested nearly £10billion into Universal Credit so that no one has to wait five weeks for a first payment. And by slashing the work allowances and taper rates, people can keep more of what they earn.
And if you are disabled, further financial support is here. From today the maximum Access to Work grant – which pays for equipment or for interpreters to help disabled people to do their jobs – is worth nearly £60,000, an increase by £2,000 a year.
We are also increasing many of our benefits for pensioners, mums, carers and disabled people by 2.4 per cent and the State Pension by 2.6 per cent.
I know The Sun has campaigned vigorously for Universal Credit to be fairer and more flexible, which is why since becoming the Secretary of State I have taken steps to do just that.
And the changes we have made mean that every child born before April 2017 will be supported by Universal Credit.
I’ve also committed to touring the country to investigate how Universal Credit is working in different communities. It’s taken me across Britain from Warrington to Harlow and Cardiff to Stoke.
And the results of that review are already taking shape.
For example, I’ve said that by the summer a new specialist domestic abuse worker will be in place in every Jobcentre, all part of our commitment to ensuring the welfare system works for women.
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Along with Women’s Minister Penny Mordaunt we are absolutely determined that women get all the support they need.
That’s also why I’ve set out steps to ensure Universal Credit payments will go directly to a household's main carer – often, but not always, the woman of the household.
With the employment rate is at a record high and 32.7 million people taking home a wage, I know Sun readers are working hard to improve their lives and you can be assured that we too are working hard to help you on every step of the way.
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