Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 6th February 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to reduce the level of universal credit deductions for claimants with court fines.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of universal credit deductions on the (a) cost of living and (b) health and well-being of former rough sleepers.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the rate of universal credit deductions for claimants with court fines.

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

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Deductions for court fines are based on rates provided in legislation. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously.

We recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The Department engages a range of stakeholders, including welfare rights organisations, to ensure we understand the effect Universal Credit has, which helps us to design improvements. In addition, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Justice, on a range of economic and social issues.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No1 person thinks not

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