The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee launches a call for evidence into the economics of Universal Credit. The deadline for submissions is 29 February 2020.

Universal Credit's single key objective states that work should always pay. However, when it was set up it did not take into account Child Maintenance payments. Finding from the Centre of Social Justice, Social Security Advisory Committee, Dr. Christine Davis from the Royal Holloway University of London and others have demonstrated that this key objective is not being met for parents who are also on Universal Credit (UC). State benefits, including UC are supposed to provide a safety-net for people on low incomes. By not including Child Maintenance payments many people are forced to have to live on incomes below that safety-net. At the same time, receiving parents level of state benefits remains unaffected regardless of whether they receive £0 or £1,000 a week from the paying parent, in some cases acting as a disincentive to having a job. By not being included it also means that the children of some well supported single parents are being classified as living in 'child poverty' conditions.

ACTION - If you are on Universal Credit, that's your chance to send your feedback to The House of Lords Call for Evidence. We will be doing so separately. However, your accounts will help Committee to understand the effect it has on individuals and their families.

The main question to answer here is "How well has Universal Credit met its original objective?"

If you are on Universal Credit and also paying Child Maintenance, then you should write to the committee using this website and tell them about your personal experience.

Everybody's experience is different and worth sharing. This is an opportunity for you to say whether Universal Credit has helped or hindered you, whether it has ensured that 'work always pays', caused you hardship or even to stop working altogether.

Important things:

  • Written submissions should be submitted online, as a Word document. The Select Committee have also published guidance on evidence they seek.
  • If you have difficulty submitting online, please contact the Committee staff by email at economicaffairs@parliament.uk or by telephoning 020 7219 5358. The deadline for written evidence is 29 February 2020.
  • Short submissions are preferred (1 to 5 pages max.). Paragraphs should be numbered. All submissions made through the written submission form will be acknowledged automatically by email.
  • Personal contact details will be removed from evidence before publication, but will be retained by the Committee Office and used for specific purposes relating to the Committee’s work, for instance to seek additional information.

If you are willing to share your story with us so we may use it in our discussions with the department of work and pensions, please send it to admin@fnf.org.uk.