We all rely on publicly-funded services like education, roads and the NHS. Our social security system is there for us all – and most of us will call on it at various times in our life. It’s there to help families meet their basic needs, to get on in life, and to loosen poverty’s grip and help families escape from poverty. Universal credit was designed to reduce child poverty, but cuts mean it will actually increase it. We're campaigning on all fronts to make universal credit fit for families.
What have we done so far?
We successfully campaigned for increases to the work allowance in 2018.
We have also campaigned on the long wait – initially people had to wait six weeks for their first payment of universal credit. In the November 2017 budget the Chancellor announced that the wait would now effectively be five weeks, and there will be more help with advance payments. But this is not enough: we've joined the Trussell Trust's Five weeks too long campaign to end the wait.
What parts of Universal Credit need to change?
The government needs to make significant design and funding changes to improve claimants’ experience of universal credit and to reduce child poverty. Read more in our report, Universal credit: what needs to change, about what the government should do in the following areas:
- Improving adequacy
- Filling the gaps
- Supporting people into work and in work
- Starting a claim
- Managing a claim