Fairness in government debt management | CPAG

Fairness in government debt management

Post date: 
20 October 2020

In September 2020, CPAG responded to the Cabinet Office’s call for evidence regarding fairness in government debt management. Our response focusses on the debt deductions which are applied in universal credit claims, which are subject to complicated rules and high rates that cause hardship. Evidence from our Early Warning System clearly shows how the regulations governing universal credit deductions take no account of affordability, and the discretion afforded to the DWP to mitigate high recovery rates is limited and rarely used. Our cases highlight the problems encountered with deductions including a lack of transparency in the automated system, the incompatibility of the UC digital system with court orders and the unfairness of recovering overpayments accrued due to DWP, rather than claimant, error.