500 signatures reached
To: UK Government
End the Young Parent Penalty in Universal Credit
Reinstate the exemption for single parents to the lower standard allowance of Universal Credit for under 25s, which existed under the legacy benefits system, in recognition of the costs of raising a child alone.
Why is this important?
Young single parent families are up to £66.13 worse off per month under Universal Credit compared with the legacy system - a drop of 20%. This is because rules have been changed so that single parents under 25s no longer receive the same rate as over 25s.
People under 25 are entitled to a lower allowance of benefits than people aged 25 and over, but before Universal Credit was introduced there was an exemption for single parents in recognition of the cost of caring for a child alone. Now, that exemption has been removed.
For parents receiving benefits this means a drop in their family budget when they move to Universal Credit – often through no choice of their own, and with little or no warning.
Children in single parent families (92% of which are headed by women) are already twice as likely to be living in poverty than other children.
We all want all children to have the best start in life – but this isn’t possible when there is inequality built into the safety net which is meant to be there to keep families afloat when times are hard. Denying young single parents the same level of social security penalises children on the basis of their parent’s age and pushes young families into poverty.
We, and many parents we work with, think this is unfair, unjustified, and needs to be reversed as a matter of urgency.
Find out more about the campaign and why it's important to young single parents and their children here: https://opfs.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/campaigns/end-the-young-parent-penalty/