10th March, 2013
According to research by the Payments Council, benefits recipients throughout the UK believe they will not fully understand their payment options once the Universal Credit scheme is rolled out by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The survey, which questioned 1,568 UK adult recipients between 28 August and 5 September, 2013, revealed that nearly half of the respondents said that the change will make it more difficult to manage their money and will contribute to a struggle to pay bills or rent on time.
It found that this was because respondents had not thought about how they will budget differently once they have been switched from weekly or fortnightly payments to monthly payments.
“The introduction of Universal Credit means that people will have to be savvier about managing their money and will have to plan for the whole month instead of budgeting on a weekly basis,” said Adrian Kamellard, Chief Executive of the Payments Council.
He added: “Understanding payments can help manage cash flow. Our guide explains different payment options which in turn can help pay bills on time, stay on top of your money and avoid missing payments or going overdrawn.”
Universal Credit also is unlikely to provide claimants with a regular level of income and so will frustrate and impede attempts at budgeting. Monthly adjustments caused by “real-time” earning variations; changes in circumstances, sanctions for non complaince with claimant commitment, “third party deductions” will all sdd to these budgeting difficulties.