Universal Credit on Pause

by Property 118

8 months ago

Universal Credit on Pause

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Universal Credit on Pause

MPs have voted 299 to 0 for Labour’s motion to ‘pause and fix’ Universal Credit before further roll out after the majority of Conservative MPs decided to abstain and some voted with Labour.

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, said: “If you choose not to take part and vote you can’t say, ‘well we didn’t lose’. A minister from the government should come to the House and show respect to the institution and say what it intends to do. This institution is bigger than any one party and is bigger than any government.”

This was after PMQs today when Theresa May was forced to confirm the the 55 pence per minute charge on the Universal Credit Help Line would be scrapped.

Universal credit combines six working age benefits into a single payment, is designed to make the system simpler and ensures no one would be better off claiming benefits than working.

However it has faced a rebellion from  two dozen Conservative MPs, who fear payment delays of up to 6 weeks in arrears risk pushing families into destitution.

Landlords have also been very critical that it does not separate Housing Benefit payments and relys on tenants knowing how to manage their finances.

In a recent NLA survey they found just two in 10 landlords say they are willing to let to tenants in receipt of housing benefit or universal credit.



Comments

Alison King

8 months ago

This is marvellous news. I have just accepted a new tenant who is on housing benefit and we were both cornerned that her revised claim might trigger a switch to UC She was so relieved to have found a home after a difficult search that she burst into tears. The government havr been failing both landlords and the poorer tenants by making everything so difficult.

Reply to the comment left by Alison King at 19/10/2017 - 07:33
And the Section 24 has not even kicked in yet... Besides, a number of lenders will never allow for renting to any benefit tenants. If there is such crisis, why the Government does not step it, revoke S24, force banks to offer BTL loans which would be suitable for LLs who would consider benefit tenants? I know, this is an ideal world, but housing crisis is dominating the headlines.
On the other note - I see a lack of activity in discussing / trying to lobby disastrous consequences of S24. Has everyone except me incorporated and not affected? Or are we waiting for the first tax bill?

Robert Mellors

8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Alison King at 19/10/2017 - 07:33
The vote has not changed anything, the roll out of Universal Credit is still proceeding as far as I can tell. It does of course put more pressure on the Government to pause it, but as far as I am aware they have not actually done so.

Your new tenant's "break in claim", i.e. change of address, may indeed trigger her needing to claim UC (or that may come when it is rolled out in your area), and the change of address will also trigger the application of the Benefit Cap (unless she is one of the few who are exempt form this).

Have you seen this short part of a debate with Scottish consistencies arguing for the halt of Universal Credit.

Some very hard hittting facts and an extremely powerful speech.

https://www.facebook.com/Mhairi.Black.SNP/videos/1330229250439868/

loretta wight

8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Sherrelle Collman at 19/10/2017 - 23:12
Ms Black talks nonsense. Most people are being paid before the 6 week period plus are offered loans.Their benefit is always backdated! This doesn't effect their housing rent as rent in Scotland is paid 4 weekly in arrears and takes usually 6 weeks at the beginning anyway. But you have to be in 3 months arrears before a Landlord can evict here anyway. So if the tenant gets the money then pay their rent immediately, they will be ok. What is actually happening is that those who get their benefit in their hand are not paying their rent, thus are in fear of eviction, they are just buying goodies. Most tenants are well aware of how to work the system. It is very very difficult to evict in Scotland and is getting harder in December. We only hear about the small minority and some are not even telling you the true details of their benefits and already have existing loans, lifestyle choice etc that is causing problems.

Robert Mellors

8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by loretta wight at 20/10/2017 - 18:58It is difficult for landlords in England to evict as well, but that is rather besides the point, the fact is that the delays in paying UC, and the lack of co-operation and communication by the UC teams, means that landlords will be threatening tenants with eviction and will be issuing eviction notices. If there are further delays after that, or if the tenant receives the UC money but uses it to pay for other things, then it may get to actual eviction stage.

Yes, I agree that to some extent it is for the tenant to ensure that they pay the rent as the first and foremost priority when they eventually get the UC, but certainly the delays and other problems within the UC system exacerbate the problem. It also needs to be borne in mind that even if the landlord cannot easily evict the tenant, if such issues arise then the landlord is far less likely to renew the tenancy, and almost certainly won't take on another tenant that is claiming UC.

Loretta, if you believe that there is no problems with taking on UC tenants, then there is a massive opportunity for you to re-house all these UC tenants that will be becoming homeless soon, there will be no shortage of demand.

loretta wight

8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 21/10/2017 - 14:06There are good tenants and bad tenants on benefits. Most are good. I have friends that have been made redundant and one who has been on housing benefit for 15 yrs. Her Landlord thinks she is great. Anyone taking hb or UC tenants need to be aware that there will be approx 6 weeks delay in both cases and if they don't comply with signing on conditions/hb . In December we will no longer have SATs and to remove a tenant will be really hard unless you have clear grounds of eviction. You can't just fail to renew tenancy. One advantage is that if you get direct payment from the DWP this will last until the eviction takes place.. IN Scotland this is to be changed so that you can get it from the start of the tenancy. Not everyone who works are reliable, it about referencing etc Some Landlords will find it profitable to keep UC tenants. More so in Scotland. The downside is that it will take 84 days notice in almost all eviction conditions now, when it was only 2 or 4 weeks. Then we have to go to a panel. It is all to the tenants advantage. Some DWP dept are easier to work with than others. I think most Landlords in Scotland are worried because there will be no SATs and the time factor/new conditions for eviction. You will no longer have control over your property. Many may leave the market for this reason alone..

Jonathan Clarke

8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by loretta wight at 20/10/2017 - 18:58

Ms Black doesn`t talk nonsense. She speaks truthfully and passionately for those of her constituents who have been left starving because of the disastrously flawed roll out of UC .
You clearly have never gone hungry and been forced to use a food bank or you would have perhaps more empathy with those who go hungry through no fault of their own .

Scotland clearly identified that there is an issue for UC applicants and have made changes.
Ms Black was speaking of her experiences and it seemed that those who were present agreed.


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