Universal credit is punishing entrepreneurs and seasonal workers, say MPs
Seems like this policy is never in the news for anything good...
A group of MPs have said the policy is "designed with little regard for the reality of self-employed work", and they're calling for some major reforms.
What it means: Recap – universal credit is the policy that combines six benefits (unemployment benefit, tax credits, housing benefits, the lot) into one. The idea was the simplify the system and incentivise people to work. Instead, it's caused a lot of problems, not least the fact that people were waiting six weeks to get their payments (they're now waiting five instead, which isn't that much better.)
The latest critique from a group of MPs is that the requirements for universal credit are unfair on self-employed people. It's about what's called the "minimum income floor", a rule which states that a year into their employment, people need to be earning at least the minimum wage for 35 hours a month to be able to earn tax credits.
Two groups lose out here: seasonal workers, who often don't earn anything for several months in the year; and entrepreneurs, who need several years for their businesses to become profitable.
MPs are calling for the year 'start-up period' to be extended to three, and for the minimum income policy to be reformed so that seasonal workers don't pay the price for something they can't control.