Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September to Question 290673 on Universal Credit, whether a reduction in the monthly repayments of a court fine from 40 per cent to a lower amount will return to the 40 per cent rate in the following month if a person has no other deductions attached to a universal credit claim.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Our deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their obligations and a claimant’s ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. From October 2019, deductions will be capped at 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% to better achieve this balance.

In the scenario outlined, if a person has no other deductions, the most that would be deducted for a court fine in the following assessment period is £108.35. This is because the maximum deduction for court fines is based on a fixed figure in regulations rather than a percentage. If the £108.35 figure were more than 30% of the claimant’s standard allowance, the deduction would be reduced to 5% of the standard allowance, ensuring the 30% cap was not exceeded. The policy was designed to deduct either the minimum or maximum set out in regulations and avoid inconsistencies that may arise if discretion was to be exercised for each claimant’s deduction.

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