Government inaction freezing the self-employed out of Universal Credit

The Government’s refusal to change its position on monthly calculations for Universal Credit payments will continue to unfairly punish the self-employed, IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) said today.

The Government ruled out making changes to the system of monthly calculations in its response released today to the Work and Pensions Committee ‘Universal Credit for the Self-Employed’ report.

IPSE’s Policy Development Manager, Jordan Marshall, comments:“It is disappointing that the Government hasn’t listened to the repeated warnings of industry, trade unions and the self-employed themselves about the damage monthly reporting does to self-employed people claiming Universal Credit.

“Just last month the National Audit Office said the self-employed ‘lose out due to monthly reporting’.

“By not considering the fluctuating nature of self-employed income, the Minimum Income Floor can leave the self-employed up to £3,000 worse off each year compared to an employee earning the same amount.

“One welcome move is the Government’s plans to increase the number of specialist Work Coaches to give self-employed claimants more focused advice on growing their businesses.

“The Government has agreed to review the impact Universal Credit has on the self-employed, but not until the end of 2019. This will be cold comfort to the many who are struggling in a system that is not fit for purpose”.

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