100 signatures reached
To: The British Parliament
‘Weekly Payment Now’ on Universal Credit
Pass legislation to pay Universal Credit weekly and to give the right to anyone paid under £20,000 pa to be paid weekly too.
Why is this important?
The current design of Universal Credit is one of the evils of our age.
The design of Universal Credit was supposed to make it easier for people on benefits to move into employment. A key feature is that it is paid monthly and wraps all benefits into one payment including rent.
There is a huge problem with paying benefits monthly. Because of the often chaotic nature of the finances of people on benefits, most poor people run out of money long before the month end. The result is that children go hungry for days, even weeks at a time and food banks proliferate.
Moreover paying claimants the money needed for their rent, which they are supposed to pass on is folly. 73% of Universal Credit claimants are now in arrears on their rent, this is causing real strain on housing associations. Basically housing associations and landlords have become the lender of last resort to those on Universal Credit.
But there is a sensible quick fix that will make Universal Credit work. It is repackaging an old idea. Pass a law that anyone in employment paid under £20,000 pa has the right to be paid weekly. Admittedly that will cause a short term cash flow issue for many employers. But that could easily be overcome if the Government lent every employer the right amount of money to move people to weekly pay. They already know all this information due to the HMRC real time submissions that employers are obliged to make to HMRC any time any payment is made to any employee. It would be dead simple to work out exactly the cash flow shortfall an employer would face, this could be advanced as a Tax and NI Credit and it could be repaid over an agreed period again by an adjustment to the amount of Tax and NI an employer has to make.
Then simply, pay Universal Credit weekly and pay any rent element direct to the housing association or landlord.
Then insist that ATMs and point of sale equipment in the supermarkets use fingerprint recognition technology and give access to benefit accounts using the ID God has given us all.
At a stoke of legislation this would reduce the problem of running out of money for too long. Basically claimants are likely to be able to budget better on a weekly basis and if they make a mistake like drinking too much it only impacts their family for a week and not a whole month.
So join me in asking Parliament to pass legislation to achieve this.
It is so simple and sensible that it is quite remarkable that it has never been suggested.