Universal Credit underpayments double those of Jobseekers Allowance

 have uncovered statistics that show that more claimants are being underpaid on Universal Credit – UC in comparison to Jobseekers Allowance – JSA. What is important is that the number of claimants on Jobseekers is far larger than those on Universal Credit


Statistics on the Government’s Stat-Xplore website show that in the 2017/2018 tax year more money was underpaid to Universal Credit claimants than was to claimants on Jobseekers Allowance – JSA.

The statistics show that in the 2017/18 financial year £43 million was underpaid to claimants on Universal Credit. This compares to £22 million to Jobseekers Allowance, that’s nearly half the amount despite a much larger number of people on the legacy benefit.



DWP to blame for majority of errors

The reason that the government’s flagship policy is underpaying claimants is mainly due “Official Error.” Basically that means the DWP is to blame, in Universal Credit’s case £ 35 million was underpaid because of errors at the DWP.

Again “Official Errors” lead the way in JSA’s case at £15 million. Errors are always to be expected as no person or IT system is perfect. However, UC is dealing with a far lower amount of claimants than JSA but is making double the amount of errors.

Worrying amount of Housing Costs underpaid

A more worrying sign is that the majority of errors on Universal Credit relate to housing costs. £26 million pounds was underpaid to claimants last year. Again considering the lower amount of claimants this means a significant amount of people may have experienced housing problems because of UC.

Recent figures from the National Housing Federation revealed that 73% of housing association tenants in receipt of the benefit are in rent arrears, compared with 29% who are still on the old system.

Add in the above figures and you can see despite Esther McVey’s claim that Universal Credit is helping claimants, it’s simply not true. Nor is it “world leading.”

A sign of what’s to come?

The recent National Audit Office – NAOreport which blasted Universal Credit stated that it “has not delivered value for money and is uncertain it ever will.”  Statistics like I have reported above just reinforce this.

The DWP and Tory response would be along the lines of “it’s a new benefit.”

However this is not strictly true. It has been live since 2013 and by now they shouldn’t be making these mistakes, especially since they want to accelerate the roll-out.

The NAO recommended that the roll-out is halted until the Department for Work and Pensions is ready to deal with higher claim volumes. Despite this advice, Universal Credit Director General Neil Couling boasted on twitter that by October all jobcentres in the UK will be Universal Credit live.

My thoughts

These figures will come of no surprise to many people. The government with Esther McVey at the head peddle the lie that Universal Credit is some sort of saviour of the welfare system.

In-fact is is pushing people into poverty and causing foodbank use to rocket.

The UN is sending an investigator in November to investigate the effects Tory austerity measures such as welfare reform and cuts have had on people in the UK.

Iain Duncan Smith’s brainchild has failed and looks set to continue that trend. It’s exacerbated by having a party in government who absolutely cannot accept any criticism.

Alex Tiffin

@RespectIsVital on Twitter

Universal Credit Sufferer on Facebook

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