Universal Credit

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd October 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the exact quotation from Wikeley, Ogus and Barendt's The Law of Social Security, to which footnote 1 of Universal Credit Policy Briefing Note 2 refers in support of the argument that "it has been suggested that Government interference in household budgeting arguably undermines individual responsibility".

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The paragraph in The Law of Social Security concerns deductions from benefit at source. The relevant section on page 334 reads as follows, with the pertinent sentence highlighted:

"The underlying policy is to help claimants who have shown themselves, perhaps only temporarily, incapable of budgeting for their own needs. The number of cases involved is considerable. In 1999 there were 606,000 deductions for social fund repayments and 131,000 for overpayment recoveries in a typical week. In all some 29 per cent of income support recipients have deductions from benefit made at source. While a prudent use of these powers can prevent a crisis of eviction or fuel disconnection which might otherwise arise, this type of intervention in a claimant's financial affairs arguably undermines individual responsibility and self-reliance. In addition, the SSAC has drawn attention to the dangers of the proliferation of such deductions, which 'is likely to lead to a large number of items competing for a finite amount or the possibility that creditors' bills are met at the expense of food and other essential items of day to day living'".

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.