To start a thread about the new uc and how it affects entitlement to tax credit.

(201 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 22:23:35

Just as the title suggests.

How many people actually know how this will affect their personal circumstances?
Millions of workers will be affected and so many people will lose out.
This is not welfare cuts for the unemployed its anybody not working for 35 hours earning the minimum wage.

I have no idea how it may effect us. Is there any online calculator type things?

PeppermintLatte Tue 09-Oct-12 22:26:49


i have read up a little on this but don't quite understand it, i keep seeing contradictions.

i am unsure how it wil affect my personal circumstances. i'm self employed and i work 18 hours, can't afford the childcare to work more hours. my earnings vary from week to week, but i'm yet to make more than £60 a week, so i'm very worried.

JeezyOrangePips Tue 09-Oct-12 22:30:05

I know how it will affect me. My household income will drop by about a third.

I'm not panicking.


morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 22:30:40


It is going to affect the self employed quite drastically. I can't provide a link as computer/me is useless. Google your question and there is a very good explanation. Dh is self employed/small business and its not good for us. You may be better depending on your circs.

PeppermintLatte Tue 09-Oct-12 22:34:46

morethanpotatoprints thanks for the info, i will google it. i do not like this government, they make me feel very uneasy. i am a very low earner anyway with this bloody economy and unfortunately tax credits are a god send and i rely on them.

Whitecherry Tue 09-Oct-12 22:42:47

I asked at the jobcentre today..... Nobody knew much at all

Meglet Tue 09-Oct-12 22:46:14

I know it will probably screw us over as I'm a LP working PT.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 22:46:22

I only know what I have read and heard on the news but I think many are not aware of the situation and how it will impact on their lives.
I understand p/t workers will be forced into finding work that adds up to 35 hours a week at the minimum wage.

OddBoots Tue 09-Oct-12 22:47:39

I know this won't affect us directly as we have never claimed tax credits out of worry that they'd screw up and claim them all back from us and we don't earn anything close to enough to have child benefit removed.

It does all make me uneasy though - reducing benefits when there are enough well paid jobs is one thing, to do so in times of such high unemployment and with such a low minimum wage seems very unfair.

Debs75 Tue 09-Oct-12 22:51:39

From what I think if you are a carer or your household has a disabled occupant then you are exempt.
Or is that the £500 per week cap thingie?

Anyway we are non-working as I am at college so DP is the main carer. Will they be able to force us to work in a minimum wage job and me give up college, and then Uni?

Whitecherry Tue 09-Oct-12 22:53:59

Debs, depends. Is your DH not working?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 23:00:20

Debs. I'm sorry, I don't know either. I know people on jsa have to be looking for work for 35 hours and tax credits/new uc they have to work min of 5 hours.I think if you are claiming tax credits you fall into the uc system of 35 hours per week at the minimum wage.

perceptionreality Tue 09-Oct-12 23:05:51

This government are pissing everyone off. How can David Cameron keep on saying that he intends to make work pay when it would appear this is not the case?

Can anyone also explain why the tories talk as if they are definitely going to win the next election?

monkeysbignuts Tue 09-Oct-12 23:06:58
OddBoots Tue 09-Oct-12 23:07:05

It is so hard to get exact rules and facts, nothing sets it out clearly. Bits and bobs I have read lead me to think that at least one of a couple with children needs to be working full time or at least available for full time work and there are financial sanctions if this isn't the case, I've not seen anything about what happens if the other person is a student.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:07:21

If you are working part-time or are self employed it could affect you greatly.

Here's a link explaining how UC could affect you if you're self-employed

Debs75 Tue 09-Oct-12 23:08:22

No we are on Income Support as one dc is disabled so dp is carer and I am studying whilst he has the 2 youngest who are 2 and 4. When they are in school he is probably going to look for work if it will fit in with Uni and shifts

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:09:25

Here's another link, which explains "How Universal Credit Will Destroy Part-time Work"

Anonymumous Tue 09-Oct-12 23:09:38

Perception, ALL parties talk as if they're going to win the next election. What do you suppose it would do for their chances if they shrugged their shoulders and said, "Ah well, we've got no chance, so we haven't bothered with a manifesto this time!"

monkeysbignuts Tue 09-Oct-12 23:11:56
morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 23:15:11

Mikelitoris grin at nickname.

I haven't seen a calculator but know most who are worried are so about the 35 hours and min wage ruling. It appears that people working less than 35 hours will be badgered into finding more hours or be penalised.
There are several articles but they have conflicting reports. It depends if you are the mails "feckless" or the Guardians 1 million working.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:15:21

The basics seem to be this. If you work part-time, and rely on Tax-Credits, Housing Benefit or any kind of benefit to make ends meet then you'll see some big changes.

You will not be eligible for full UC if you work between 5 and 35 hours, and don't earn more than the equivalent of 35-hours worth of minimun wage. This is an "incentive" to get you to look for more work, apparently.

The government will assume that people in part-time work should be looking for full-time jobs, and they will make you go to the job centre, along with the unemployed, to prove that you are looking for full time work.

The job centre will be able to set up interviews for you at 48 hours notice, which you must attend. Failure to attend (twice was it?) will mean a cut in UC for you.

If they find a job for you which has more hours or is better paid, you will have to take it or face cuts to your UC (even if the long term prospects are worse, or makes your journey much longer, or one of many other reasons you might like to stay in your current job).

morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 23:18:19

Thanks for the links folks, I have seen these but my stupid cusor is difficult even typing let alone trying to link. Oh well won't be able to afford a new one soon.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:18:19

Within these plans is a shift, from seeing the minimum wage as something which an employer has a responsibility to pay you, to something which you have a responsibility to earn.

The Tories seem to think that by "incentivising" people (i.e. threatening them with poverty) they will all be able to find more work.

It totally fails to make any provision for the fact that there are not enough jobs, and so driving many people into poverty is built into this system.

CagneyNLacey Tue 09-Oct-12 23:21:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Does anyone know how this will affect ESA and those unable to work?

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:23:15

WRT to the self-employed ...

Apologies for the lengthy post, but I'm going to quote from the link I posted earlier, as he says it better than I can!

"According to the recently published draft regulations: “claimants who declare that they have income from self-employment, or who are self-employed with no income, will be invited to a “Gateway” interview.”

This appears to be some form of Stalinist Dragon’s Den, whereby people will be forced to prove to the DWP that their business, or their trade is: “done with the intention of increasing the income received to the level we could expect the claimant to make if working full time”

Claimants will be expected to provide reams of evidence at these interviews which will no doubt be carried out by people with so much entrepreneurial know-how that they’ve ended up working in the Jobcentre.

Should the claimant pass this government test, then they will be granted a year’s start up period, during which they will be largely left alone. After that they will be subject to the ‘Minimum Income Floor’. This means that self-employed people will be expected to earn a certain amount a week, or lose eligibility for benefits or self-employed status. The Government are not telling us exactly what that Minimum Income Floor will be in the consultation documents, however it has previously been suggested that people will be expected to earn at least the minimum wage for any self-employed activity.

Under the new proposals self-employed people will be expected to work at least 18 hours a week. It is unclear whether those in self-employment working at this level will be expected to abandon self-employment to take up full time work, or workfare, should the DWP deem it appropriate. Those working part time are now to be forced to continually look for full time work, attend interviews at the drop of a hat and hand in their notice immediately should they be offered even a temporary full time job.

If these requirements are not inflicted on self employed workers, then for many people simply under reporting their hours will mean they are able to qualify for the full Universal Credit award. If this all sounds confusing that’s because it is. Once again a key piece of legislation, set to go before Parliament in Autumn, has not been thought through or adequately explained.

It is likely that the Minimum Income Floor will mean that self-employed people are expected to earn the equivalent of the minimum wage for 35 hours a week or face a cut in benefits. As Housing Benefits are now to be lumped in with Universal Credit, this may mean homelessness for some.

Another aspect of the new regime will punish people who invest in tools, stock or other business expenses in order to increase earnings. Self employed people will now be required to report all income and business expenditure on a monthly basis as opposed to annually as under the present system. Expenses will not be carried over to the next month. This will mean if someone spends a couple of grand on stock this will only be reflected in their earnings for that month. The new system will make it impossible for self-employed people to invest on any significant level to improve their earnings.

It will not just be businesses that have large outlays, such as small shops or tradespeople, that will be affected by the monthly reporting. A freelance journalist who spends a month writing a piece in anticipation of it being sold will be penalised for not earning minimum wage during that period. Self employed people will be punished for injecting both time and cash into their business. The harder you work, the less you get.

And these are the lucky ones who have passed their DWP Dragon’s Den.

People who fail to impress the Government with their self-employment plans will still be permitted to earn money from self-employment, and will face the same monthly requirement to report any earnings. They will also however be given a Claimant Commitment, meaning they will not be treated as self-employed. This will mean that there will be a requirement to attend Mandatory Work Activity or attend pointless courses and workshops with Welfare to Work companies like fraud ridden A4e any time the DWP sees fit.

This will destroy people’s ability to take on small amounts of work on a casual basis. Should someone be offered a few days work on a self-employed basis they will not be in a position to guarantee they can turn up. They could be sent to work in a charity shop with no pay that week instead. Far from the stated aim of making all work pay, short periods of self-employed work will be a commitment that claimants can no longer make under the new regime. The DWP will decide how you spend your time and if you fail to comply you could face sanctions for up to three years."

morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 23:29:53


I believe so, if you want to keep your benefit. It really stinks that you try your best and require a little support andyou end up better off not working which I think will be the case for many part time workers.

Leithlurker Tue 09-Oct-12 23:33:42

Aufaniae, lovely name btw what does it mean where is it from?

Just one point further to your post, otherwise you are pretty much spot on. Like every body claiming out of work benefits, income support, job seekers allowance etc. The failure to comply, and here we are talking about the job centre plus, or any agency that is acting on behalf of the DWP, such as A4E with an instruction can result in a benefit sanction. 3 sanctions and you lose all benefit for up to a year. This happens now to people who are signing on but refuse to take jobs either because the job is part time, does not allow them to care for children or adults, they keep being turned down for jobs and are deemed to be not trying hard enough, they have no money for bus fares so cannot get in to jobcentre plus office, in fact a large range of reasons can end up getting you sanctioned.

Now though as others have said, a sancvtion under the same rules can and will be applied to someone who does not earn enough, or work more hours. someone will be only too happy to tell the wring people that they are just as work shy as those receiving money for not working. We the disabled, the carers, the people who cannot get jobs because there are none, told you, we have been telling you for the past 4 years that the working poor will be the next targets. We were right, welcome to our world.

Oh and just the other day I heard a report from a reliable source that they are already starting to target carers, asking them to develop back to work plans for when they no longer care fort someone. Pretty tough to do if you spent 30 odd years looking after a child of your own with learning difficulties, but still they will be sanctioned for not complying.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:34:40

The Tories keep on going on about how they want to make it better off to work.

The thing is, it is actually better off to work already! They're lying when they encourage the idea it's not.

Here's an article which breaks down the figures to show exactly how you are better off if you work.

Under the new UC rules, it will indeed be better for many part time workers to claim benefits. So the Tories' UC plans are doing the opposite of what they claim it will.

Whitecherry Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:54

Does this affect lone parents? Job entree today was adamant it's 16 hours I need to be doing

morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 23:41:34

Ha Ha

"we're all in this together"

Except the very rich. DCand his cronies

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:44:16

Thanks LeithLurker, for the info and the compliment!

The Aufaniae were a group of Celtic mother goddesses. I was TTC a while ago, and I thought it was apt. (Were I the superstitious type, I'd say it brought me luck as I'm pregnant now smile )

CagneyNLacey Tue 09-Oct-12 23:47:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 23:48:40


Apparentely it affects everyone. I heard somebody on another thread discussing the adverse affects on single parents. Nobody is immune.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:48:49

Another change is that if you have more than £16K in savings or assets such as property you don't live in, you won't be eligible for UC at all. (Currently you can still get WTC with savings).

A mumsnetter on another thread was explaining that she'd lose entitlement as she owns a share in a property she doesn't live in. The share is not saleable. And she lives in rented accommodation herself. Thankfully it wasn't going to affect her too badly, but it's an example of how something which might sound fair on paper will affect people who do need the help.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:50:51

Whitecherry this hasn't come in yet.

They're trailing it in the NW first, then they'll roll it out to new claimants in October IIRC, then move everyone over sometime between then and 2017 supposedly.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 23:53:20

I'm not sure but I think childcare is changing too. I haven't looked in depth as not applicable to me.

My theory is that the gov are trying to force pt working mothers out of work. It seems like this as osbourne wants to scrap flexi working. After all Conservative gov are for traditional family values with one parent working, the other at home. It would not surprise me in the slightest.

Leithlurker Tue 09-Oct-12 23:54:44

Celtic mothers, thats exactly who we need. Far more robust and powerful than the Norman bastards back to subjugate the poor.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:55:09

I think you might be right with that theory sad

It's all so fucking backward. angry

morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 23:56:27

I live in one of the first areas to be trialed and believe me the local benefit office are working on it now. My friend is working on it constantly with over time. This is happening.

CagneyNLacey Tue 09-Oct-12 23:57:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 23:58:00

grin Leithlurker

PeppermintLatte Tue 09-Oct-12 23:58:07

i'm off to bed depressed. these tory twats are making life almost impossible with these stupid changes. surely there has to be another way?

Leithlurker Tue 09-Oct-12 23:59:47

I am less sure about that being the reason, I am more convinced they are determined never again to allow working people to hope that one day they can have fairness and equality. From which level of despaire they become more compliant and much easier to control. The odd flash of trouble can always, as now be put down to one group or another being deviant, or that they need stronger discipline. All talk of people having just cause to be unhappy will be extinguished as in order to think you must be able to have the time and the energy.

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 00:06:00

Anyone planning on going to the march on October 20th?

I haven't been on a protest in years.

But it's time to get out there I think. I doubt it'll change much (yet) but I reckon it's good to get out there and make contact with other people and see what they're saying. And to maybe start building some kind of useful protest.

My biggest fear is that they'll get in again next time. And we've got ages to go till an election sad

merrymouse Wed 10-Oct-12 00:06:19

I wonder how this will affect people on zero hours contracts? I understand they have no guarantee of work in a particular week but have to be available for work?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 00:08:51

Anybody with savings had better put it into trust funds for their kids then.Our savings were for pension as dh always being self employed. So many pension funds couldn't be relied upon so we saved. Theres not a huge amount, but looks like our kids will have healthy accounts.

Leithlurker Wed 10-Oct-12 00:11:17

Merry, they are absolutely screwed, tbh zero hour contracts are a huge con any way, so if it sees the back of them I will not be sad about that. I suspect though bastard employers will think up another wheeze to replace them.

merrymouse Wed 10-Oct-12 00:13:04

And also, if you don't have a job, can you spend your 35 hours setting up your own business, or do you have to be applying for jobs, and if so where are all these jobs? What exactly is this 35 hours of job seeking supposed to entail?

merrymouse Wed 10-Oct-12 00:21:29

If you wanted to become a barrister and your parents invited some contacts to the country for a shooting weekend, could that count towards your 35 hours?

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 00:23:07

"where are all these jobs" Where indeed.

I can see nothing about job creation. The idea seems to be that if we are all sufficiently "incentivised" to find work (by threatening us with poverty and potentially homelessness) then we will find work.

The figures just don't add up as there simply aren't enough jobs to go round.

These rules will undoubtably lead to a rise in people working off-the-cards.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 00:30:33


I think self employed will deal in cash and then nobody can say what week the money was earned. Hence giving them a bit of leway on the min wage criteria. Also equip may be hired or bought on finance then only small amounts taken from profit each week. I'm sure there are several ways round this, loopholes that aren't breaking any laws. I'm sure accountants and financial advisors are working on it now.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 00:32:44

You'd be better trying to find a non existant job than try and set up a business.We're all doomed

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 00:35:31

re country shooting weekend.

I reckon you could claim all 35 hours. Mostly for time spent saying Ok yah!

FrothyOM Wed 10-Oct-12 06:25:04

Marking place

Yanbu- marking place.
Very worried for my family's future!

aufanie Definetly agree on a protest!

sashh Wed 10-Oct-12 07:02:00

I was listening to the radio yesterday.

Apparently the majority of people on benfit are in work, the second biggest group are pensioners.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 10-Oct-12 07:52:52

It does have some good elements though and tax credits did encourage people to reduce their hours to the bare minimum or to let the state pay for one parent to stay home.

If genuine self employed, then nothing to fear. If self employed and not making much (which thousands do to avoid JSA checks) then the new system will ensure the person takes responsibility if their SE doesnt support them.

Anything has to be better than the system we have now that actively encourages people to work as little as possible yet have the luxury of top ups. Its not too much to expect an adult to work 35 hours a week and childcare is more widely available than ever.

Leithlurker Wed 10-Oct-12 08:35:03

What does genuine self employed mean Happy? It is those that are genuinely self employed like child minders who have most to fear. As unemployment grows, part time work becomes more scarce, less money about means less to pay childminders. So how would these genuinely employed people get round the fact that they will not earn enough to qualify for UC, and then be at risk from sanctions?

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 08:43:34

Universal Jobmatch will soon take away the opportunity to either work for yourself building a business or to find a job suitable to your skills.

It does what it says. You will be matched with vacancies and you can bet you there will be sanctions for non-application.

It looks voluntary atm but it won't be.

Universal Credit is an utter disaster waiting to happen. It mandates online access for all jobseekers (?! local libraries anyone? now closed?) and proof of a full working week for anyone not earning enough including the self-employed.

It will be an utter administrative nightmare for both unemployed and government. People are not going to know what has hit them. It is fully online by 2014, supposedly.

Leithlurker Wed 10-Oct-12 08:44:30

Lets also unpack your first statement shall we Happy.
People are being payed at such a small hourly rate, that they need a top up from the government. Would it be then that we could turn this round and ask why companies are being subsidised by the tax payer?

So then you go on to allege that having secured enough to live on from both employer and state, people work only the hours that they need to or the hours that suits them. As opposed to what, working for the sake of working/ Working instead of having a family life, choosing to be a good parent, member of society rather than just a worker? Is it not the dream of those in the city that they make their pile, and then retire early? If they can choose to earn enough and then be fully fulfilled people, then the choice should be available to everyone even if they go about achieving it in a different way

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 08:45:47

Leithlurker if they are deemed to be not earning enough/ not working enough hours they will be made to:

attend work-focused interviews and courses
use Universal Jobmatch and apply for 'matched' vacancies
do workfare in the remaining hours of their week

This will include single parents will a child over 5 years old (!! good luck picking them up from school) and those assessed as capable of 'work related activity' on employment and support allowance. Oh, and those whom Atos has miraculously cured of disability and long term sickness.

Like I said, people are not going to know what has hit them. Expect rioting to make the poll tax disturbances look like a beach holiday in Benidorm.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 08:46:59

oh and here's another doozy: The online monitoring system has already been outsourced to India!!!

Leithlurker Wed 10-Oct-12 08:52:40

I think we were saying the same thing domestic, perhaps the only difference being I was inviting Happy to think about the tripe she is talking.

Thank you for the added detail domestic, it only adds to the reasons that people will be swept away by the need to service this monster of officialdom, rather than getting on with working.

Happy You have to work atleast 24hrs to get Tax Credits-how is that the bare mininium?
Try getting 35hrs round here-those jobs are like goldust!

CagneyNLacey Wed 10-Oct-12 09:04:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

girlylala0807 Wed 10-Oct-12 09:06:08

I just found this online. Im not sure if it is correct. But I put figures in and it seems as a lone parent working 18 hours im going to be slightly better off. It may be wrong. I may be wrong but I really dont understand whats happening.

girlylala0807 Wed 10-Oct-12 09:09:57

Ah. Ive just seen this includes child support for single parents. I guess they are working on the theory nrp all pay towards their children. But you can remove it from the calculation/

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Oct-12 09:10:13

I'm just picturing the scene when all these 'people who need help getting a job' are marched into the job center - only to be told "Oh! Sorry Miss/Mr X, there aren't actually any jobs!" .......

then what happens?

This happened to my eldest on the wonderful workfare system in the summer. She found her own job in the end. Without 'help'. Once she'd finished her enforced 6 weeks of floor sweeping in the local chemist hmm

Anyway - i just wanted to add another - where the hell are all these jobs we should be doing? 'Cos they're not round here ....

Feminine Wed 10-Oct-12 09:17:23

And...couples will both be expected to work outside the home.

My DH works over 35 hrs a week, to be able to claim UC I will also be expected (once my youngest reaches 5) to find work for a min of 16 hrs also.

This is despite the fact I live in the middle of nowhere, with a bus that comes every 2hrs...and needing good luck finding the one that returns to the village!

My DH will have the car.

ZeldaUpNorth Wed 10-Oct-12 09:26:29

Not read all the thread as i want to ask a question, which i suspect no-one will know, but will ask anyhow. Dp works 16 hours in a shop at NMW. In april he started his own gardening business on the days he didnt work, which has given him and extra 8-10 hours a week work (at around NMW-depends on the jobs) Next year he was planning to leave his employment and concentrate wholly on his business, but now they are bringing this in i'm not so sure it is going to be viable. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best course to take? Continue as he is now half employed/half self-employed or go fully self employed, or give up his buisness dream and go fully employed? Its all so confusing-i dont know why they had to change things sad

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 09:28:27


My dh has been self employed all his workig life. Unfortunately, the business he has doesn't pay much. He works well over 35 hours a week. We will lose thousands.
I take it you don't receive any benefit.

monkeysbignuts Wed 10-Oct-12 09:34:23

morethan thankfully we have an excellent accountant. I am hoping she can see a way around it for us too, maybe getting a company car which incures p11D costs as that's taxable income could be a way of boosting wages?!
Stupid toffs are making it hard for everyone but the bourgeois for want of a better word! Talk about look after your own

ZeldaUpNorth Wed 10-Oct-12 09:42:03

Just done the calculator and we'd have to earn and extra £182.46 a week to not qualify for workfare. (thats if dp stays the way he is half/half)

FrothyOM Wed 10-Oct-12 09:43:24


Poorer working mums trying to earn more for their children by working longer hours will be hit hard by the new Universal Credit, despite government pledges to make work pay, new research by Save the Children shows.

The charity has found that 150,000 of the UK’s poorest single working mums could lose up to £68 a week under the new Universal Credit, pushing a quarter of a million children deeper into poverty. The flagship welfare reforms will also hurt "second earners" - most of whom are women - with some families losing up to £1800 per year.

There are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK, one of the highest figures in Europe. The majority of these children come from working households, while evidence from overseas shows that supporting mothers in work drives down child poverty.

Female unemployment has recently topped 1m, while mothers already struggling to support their children have suffered cuts to childcare support, child benefit and tax credits. A new poll by Save the Children and Netmums found that 56% of mums said the main thing stopping them from taking a job or making them consider giving up work is the cost of childcare.

“Universal Credit will help some families, but mums working hard to stay above the breadline are its big blind spot. It's incredibly hard bringing up 3 kids on £370 a week - losing almost a fifth of that will push many families over the edge,” said Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth. "The government must make sure mums who want to work keep more of their incomes and get more support with childcare. Otherwise we’ll see fewer women in the workplace and more children growing up in poverty.”

Universal Credit, which begins to replace the current benefits and tax credit system from October 2013, will leave many families better off but will also make a total of 1.1 million families with children poorer.

Ahead of the budget on 21st March, Save the Children is launching its Mums United campaign in collaboration with Gingerbread, the Daycare Trust and Netmums to make work pay for mothers who want to work their way out of poverty. It makes three main calls to Chancellor George Osborne for his next Budget:

- Ensure single working mums keep more of their incomes before losing benefits, as they are the only earner in the family.

- Ensure second earners keep first £2000 of their earnings without losing any benefits, as main breadwinners do;

- Increase support for childcare costs for low income families from the current level of 70% to 80%, to make sure mums are not priced out of work.

“Too many children in this country are going without basics like hot meals or proper clothes because their parents can’t earn enough. We know from other countries that supporting mums who want to work takes children out of poverty, so we need a system which offers mothers that choice. Unless we see movement on childcare and benefits for struggling working mums in this budget, it could be too late for hundreds of thousands of children,” said Mr Forsyth.

The main findings of the Save the Children research are:

- Lack of funding means that many poor parents trying to work more will lose out under Universal Credit, pushing more children into poverty. The majority of children in poverty live in working households;

- A typical single parent with three children, working full time on or around the minimum wage, could be as much as £3500 per year (£68 per week) worse off;

- A single parent with two children, working full time on or around the minimum wage, could be as much as £2500 per year (£48 per week) worse off;

- As well as hitting single parents working longer hours, the new system will support single earner couple families at the expense of couples where both parents work part-time on a low income. A typical low income couple with three children where one parent works 24 hours a week and the other works a few hours on low pay could lose as much as £1800 a year (£35 per week) under the new system;

- The number of people having to work part-time but wanting full-time work has recently reached a record 1.3 million;

To join Save the Children’s Mums United campaign or find out more, please go to and sign your name. To watch mums joining the campaign, follow #MumsUnited on Twitter.

For further information, including interviews with case studies and spokespeople, please contact: Oliver Courtney on 0207 012 6469 or out of hours on 07831 650409.

Notes to editors:

- Universal Credit will streamline the current benefits and tax credit systems into one system. Its impact on family incomes will be complex and vary by family type and size, and by housing and childcare costs. Many low income working families will see increased incomes and improved work incentives, which is very welcome news for those in poverty. However under this top line picture there are worrying exceptions, with some hard-working parents - especially mums - being hit hard. Overall, 2.8 million households will have higher entitlements, 2.7 million households will see no change and 2 million households including 1.1 million households with children will have lower entitlements, according to the Department for Work and Pensions impact assessment of November 2011.

- A single mum who is £68 a week worse off has three children and has earnings from work of around £242 a week (equivalent to working 35 hours a week just above the minimum wage). Her gross income after housing costs is £370 under the current system and £302 under Universal Credit. The calculations are based on a family with average local authority rent and average pre school childcare costs.

- Across the country there are now over one million women unemployed, up from 700,000 in September 2008, with a further 1.3million women classed as economically inactive (as opposed to counted as being unemployed) but wanting a job. 2011 was the first year since 1996 that the Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimant count for women was consistently over half a million.

- Amongst couple families only 5% of children in families where both parents work full time and 8% of children where one parent works full-time and one parent works part-time are in poverty. This compares with 29% of children in households where one parent works full-time and the other parent doesn’t work. In spite of this the Government is prioritising support for single earner households at the expense of second earners, at a time when full-time work isn’t obtainable for many households.

- Female employment and child poverty are inextricably linked. In countries where child poverty is lower there tend to be more women in work

- The Government has said it will ensure no one is worse off under the new system in cash terms by making extra payments to those whose entitlement under Universal Credit is lower than under the current system. However, this protection will only be provided to current claimants and for a time limited period. Details of cash protection have yet to be fully set out. If the circumstances of the claimants change (what this means has not been defined) then they may lose this protection. New claimants will not be protected.

- Some working poor single parents will be better off under the new system because Universal Credit is likely to boost the incomes of single parents working less than 16 hours a week on low pay. However, there will be less of an incentive for this group to increase the number of hours they work to more than 16 compared to the current system.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 11:16:10

flaming heck it is incredible isn't it Frothy.

Work full time at low wage and you lose money.

Take a part time job and get credit EXCEPT that you're only considered to be unavailable for full time work until your child is FIVE.

After that you are supposed to get a 35 hour per week job or rather two jobs. At 90 MINUTES commuting distance. And you will have to pay 30% of childcare costs which at current rate is a fair old proportion of your weekly income if not all of it in some areas.

It's insanity and it will lead to poverty on a scale we have not seen since the post war years.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 11:18:11

I am surprised none of the personal responsibility pimps who hang out on here have weighed in to say that it's a lone parent's fault for having had children on her own (even if she didn't) and that the State shouldn't be paying any childcare for anyone. Etc ad nauseam.

I think the poster above who talked about Victorian maids is right. The poor will be expected to stop reproducing. Hehe good luck with that one. Especially once the abortion limit is increased and the NHS is privatised so affordable contraception is no longer available.

Mother and baby homes and workhouses here we come.

thekidsrule Wed 10-Oct-12 11:20:30


thekidsrule Wed 10-Oct-12 11:21:23

and as i said on another thread it will be paid monthly

Exactly Domestic things are not looking good.
We will be banned from reproducing yet they are lowering the abortion limit!
If the Nhs is eventually privatised there will be no contraception.
With hardly no money to live off, hardly no jobs to take people will be having more sex-sex without contraception =babies!
Workhouses will be bought back, homeless families on the increase!

It will be just like victorian times just like a pp said, unless of course you are loaded!
Well if the world ends cone december maybe it will be a good thing as we are doomed with Cameronangry

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 11:39:04


Its an early thread, the responsibility girls will be along soon. They make me angry

thekidsrule Wed 10-Oct-12 11:54:36

i thought single parents had to work 24hrs for UC,tha was what i was lead to believe

im stuffed then if is 35hrs

does anybody know the criteria for each group,im feed up of looking for it confused

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 13:02:33

Indeede pumpkin. We can expect the return of Victorian morality- for the poor only.

The rich will be able to do whatever the heck they want. As usual.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 13:03:11

thekids I think it is going to be 35 hours when child is over 5 (!!!) but need to check that.

FrothyOM Wed 10-Oct-12 13:05:01

I'm confused about what hours single parents will be expected to work, anyone know?

FrothyOM Wed 10-Oct-12 13:06:15

35 hours with 90 mins commuting time plus trying to get them to some kind of childcare with no car. That will be me fucked.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 10-Oct-12 13:11:53

I thought lone parents whose youngest child is aged 5-12 were going to be able to do part time work, the same as it is now? 35 hours plus 90 minutes commute is insane shock

FrothyOM Wed 10-Oct-12 13:20:30

I don't know that. I hope someone can tell me that's not true as it will be impossible without being able to drive.

Vagaceratops Wed 10-Oct-12 13:28:41

How do you stop claiming WTC? Do you just ring them up and tell them you no longer want to claim?

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 13:55:08

Optimistic you may be right for now but I think the limit is going to be pushed back. Need to check...

Gingerbread website will have full details.

Still insane for lone parent of a 13 year old to have to do 35 hour week plus 90 min commute.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 13:56:44

@Frothy it's insane isn't it.

So much of this depends on JobCentrePlus staff volition. It is a mandate for sanctioning, and soon a 'three strikes and you're out' policy is also going to be introduced, meaning that three MINOR infractions such as missing or being late for an appointment, 'refusing' a job or being sacked from one will mean up to THREE YEARS without benefits.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 14:05:44

I can't see anything in the DWP outline about p/t work being allowed for lone parents of 'older' children (eg over 5)

maybe someone else can

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 14:06:24

well actually bear in mind it will be 'allowed' without sanction if you earn enough per hour (ie above minimum wage) not to trigger the lower-earnings threshold.

Wigeon Wed 10-Oct-12 14:07:08

Do people think this would be a good topic for a webchat? Maybe with someone knowledgeable from Citizens Advice? (think anyone from DWP would be eaten alive!)

Also, thought people might like to know that the Work and Pensions Select Committee in Parliament (a cross-party group of MPs) is looking at Universal Credit in one of their inquiries at the moment,here.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 14:08:58

from the UC document:

as announced in the Budget, lone parents whose youngest child has reached the age of five will need to actively seek work unless they are disabled or have
a health condition which prevents them working, or are a carer; and
c. couples with children whose youngest child has reached the age of five, and where neither partner is disabled or has a health condition which prevents them working or is a carer, will need to make a joint claim to Jobseeker’s Allowance, requiring both partners to actively seek work.

absolutely nothing I can see about enabling lone parents or indeed working couples to find employment fitting around school hours. This despite the utter lack of affordable childcare.

FrothyOM Wed 10-Oct-12 14:10:15

If you are a carer, or you have an illness or disability that means you cannot work, then you will also not have to look for work
If you have a child under the age of 13 you can limit your availability for work to their normal school hours. If your youngest child is 13 or older, then the number of hours you need to be available for work will depend on your individual circumstances, but should take into account your responsibilities as a carer.

Ok, that's from gingerbread. Seems LP's with a child under thirteen can limit their availability for work to school hours.

Kids of thirteen plus can look after themselves whilst their lone parents work long hours now, is that even legal?

Wigeon Wed 10-Oct-12 14:11:15

There is some information on the "Family Money" section of Mumsnethere, although not v v detailed.

FrothyOM Wed 10-Oct-12 14:15:44

I think we should ask mumsnet for a webchat with someone in the know. Great idea Wigeon.

This is worrying those of us who know a little about it. And may shock people who don't know what's coming.

Hopefully some of this will get changed, but judging by how people are still suffering under the work capability assessments, I won't hold my breath.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 14:15:55

interesting Frothy. I can't find that bit in the UC document, it treats LPs of children over 5 as 'full jobseekers' subject to full conditionality. Odd. Wonder where gingerbread get their info from. (I'm sure they are right as I did hear it from elsewhere).

Frothy I assume it must be legal. Look forward to generations of latchkey kids and antisocial behaviour spiralling in a suburb near you!!

FrothyOM Wed 10-Oct-12 14:22:06

These are gingerbreads Univeral Credits FAQ's

InTheNightGarden Wed 10-Oct-12 14:25:19

I dont understand it....the government are shooting themselves in the feet!!! I feel a massive strike across England coming soon! it is strictly minimum wage as in £6.08 an hour??

Wigeon Wed 10-Oct-12 14:26:10

I have emailed MNHQ suggesting a webchat. smile

I have some professional interest in this (although not knowledge of the detail of how UC will affect people in specific circumstances) so I have offered to suggest possible webchat guests.

Yes InTheNightGarden, you are correct £6.08

CakePops Wed 10-Oct-12 14:34:23

Atm, I am claim mortgage assistance benefit (smi I think its called) as h moved put and refuses to contribute to joint mortgage and I had to quit work due to childcare issues.

What is going to happen to this benefit? And is it true I can't claim UC as I a homeowner (of a house with no equity)

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 14:36:33

CakePops I think (but am not sure) that you can own a house as long as you live in it. What will make you ineligible for UC is of you own property you don't live in.

A poster on another thread gave an example: she owns a share in a property which was impossible to sell, and gave her no financial benefit, but that would exclude her from UC.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 14:36:49

Found this on Resolution foundation website:

A study out today by Resolution Foundation on in work conditionality in Universal Credit risks raising undue alarm among tax credit claimants.

“@resfoundation: Study shows 1.2 million workers face threat to benefits under Universal Credit – our new press release out today”

In fact, in-work conditionality under Universal Credit is, for most, no more onerous than eligibility for tax credits today. For example: A lone parent has to work 16 hours to be eligible for tax credits today. Under Universal Credit, in-work conditionality would apply for a lone parent with young children in primary school if earnings were less than 16 hours multiplied by the national minimum wage. In addition, they would only be expected to seek work during school hours.

For most adults without caring responsibilities, in-work conditionality would apply for earnings below 35 hours x national minimum wage, currently £216.65 with the minimum wage at £6.19. This is not dissimilar from eligibility for working tax credit (30 hours), and less onerous than the current system if wages are above £7.22 per hour.

I love the last sentence: less onerous FOR EVERYONE EXCEPT THOSE WHO EARN THE LEAST.

how the flipping HECK is that ever justifiable???

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 14:37:16

I don't know what happens to Mortgage Assistance Benefit specifically.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 14:38:59

So it appears LPs of children aged 5-13 will end up losing benefit if they cannot find a 16 hour pw job at minimum wage. But are expected only to work within school hours.

What the eff does that mean for school holidays???

thekidsrule Wed 10-Oct-12 14:43:17

this is utter madness,a whole change of the benefit system arriving shortly and the goverment has no "one stop shop" for us mere mortals to find out elegibility,rates,limits etc this is an utter disgrace

on the other hand maybe the goverment now see the expected start is to early and the whole thing is way behind time scale with lots of problems cropping up,now showing up through rushed,ill thought out policy

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 14:48:32

They haven't adjusted the timescale, thekids.

It's still coming in from Oct 2013.

Expect riots like I said.

The best (!) we can hope for is a massive IT f* up (not unlikely). However I wonder if this too would just rebound on the poor as no one will get paid and everyone will just have to wait to eat until the computer starts to say yes.

And what will happen in October- Will we have to apply for the UC, how long will it take or will it be automatic?
Basically how long will we be left with no tax creds, HB, jsa, cb before we get any money....2 weeks?, 4 weeks?

Are we going to be left in the lurch for x amount of weeks with nothing whilst its being processed? Thats what is worrying me

CakePops Wed 10-Oct-12 14:51:26

Thanks aufanie, that is reassuring to know.

thekidsrule Wed 10-Oct-12 14:53:06

but it wont be fully cross country till 2015 or more i read somewhere (though i have read so many "bits) i think my brains exploding

atleast now if you are entitled to IS,ESA,etc there is plenty of info and basic understanding,this UC on he other hand is lacking in basic info grin

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 14:53:48

From dwp document, apologies for formatting error as copied from pdf.

'A provisional timetable has been developed with a view to completing the transfer to Universal Credit by October 2017:
October 2013 to
April 2014
All new claims for out-of-work support are treated as claims to Universal Credit. No new Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support and Housing Benefit claims will be accepted. Customers transitioning from out-of-work benefits into work will move onto Universal Credit if they are eligible.
April 2014
No new claims are made to Tax Credits.

April 2014 to
October 2017 During this time we would begin to work through existing cases.'

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 14:54:40

I think it would be fair to say 'expect a massive f* up on a national scale'.

thekidsrule Wed 10-Oct-12 14:55:12

just reading peeps concerns on this thread proves there is very little information out there,this is peoples lives and the goverment is treating us very bad

thekidsrule Wed 10-Oct-12 14:57:36

agree domestic

InfestationofLannisters Wed 10-Oct-12 14:58:31

If working over 35 hours per week should bring in NMW, I wonder if they are going to quadruple Carer's allowance to reflect that?

<hollow laugh>

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 15:00:54

caring, Lannisters??

that is something the lower orders/non-wealth-creators do and as such needs to be discouraged. Clearly.

InfestationofLannisters Wed 10-Oct-12 15:07:32

Yes, but I bet DC said he was putting in 35 hours per week to get the fifty quid. Despite not having a clue (well-documented on MN webchat) how many nappies his son needed / was supplied with.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 15:18:56

I know I have said this on other threads but for those who don't know.

The new uc is to be trialed in Tameside, Wigan, Warrington and another town I forget.

This is due in April 2013 and Civil Servants in benefit office in our town (One of the above) are currently working overtime in preparation.

My friend is one of these people and she is as much in the dark as we are.

Wigeon Wed 10-Oct-12 15:26:54

pumpkinsweetie - no, you won't be left in the lurch with no money. They are moving people over to UC in stages. The first stage, starting this month, is people who are starting a brand new claim.

They are then going to stagger the migration of people who are already claiming benefits - some people won't be moved over to UC until 2014. From what I remember, the plan is that if you have a "material change of circumstances" - eg you become a lone parent, you start working when previously you didn't, then you will get migrated (by DWP) over from your old benefits onto UC. And then the final group to get migrated over will be people who are already claming benefits, but who haven't had any change of circumstances at all.

In theory it will all be seemless, and there won't be a big long stretch between being on your old benefit, and receiving UC, where you are without any sort of benefit. And if you are already claiming benefits, you don't have to proactively make a UC claim - you will be notified by DWP when you are going to be moved over to UC (and when this is will depend on your circumstances).

There is a bit more info on this here and here.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 15:35:45

Food for thought

Have the gov manipulated this?

LP will have to work during school time jobs available TA, or teacher now they no longer need to be qualified.
As TAs don't usually work 35 hours those already in the job will be forced into other work to receive their tax credit.

PeppermintLatte Wed 10-Oct-12 15:57:31

Happy regarding your comment on page 3....

i'm a self employed mum of one, i work 18 hours a week, i cannot afford to work anymore as i cannot afford the childcare, simple as that. i have another 2 years before my child starts school. you are right in saying that childcare is widely available, but i can't bloody afford it.

i'm genuinely self employed. some weeks i don't earn a penny, other weeks i earn about £50/£60. how can i "take responsibility" as you say? what choices do i have? enlighten me?? the only one i can think of is to pack my business up (only 6 months old) and go and get a job in a shop or something, if by some miracle one is available of course, for the 18 hours a week i currently work.

minouminou Wed 10-Oct-12 16:00:26

Just throwing this into the mix for the self-employed among us.

ICAEW is a big accountancy body, and from my v cursory look here it seems they're concerned about UC as well.
I doubt they're the only body, either.

minouminou Wed 10-Oct-12 16:04:06

IT'S the only body, should be!

At the moment I'm the second earner here, and I don't earn a lot. If for some reason I left DP, I'd be very vulnerable indeed, which is not a comfortable feeling.

I have an inkling that they're doing the usual scare story before bringing in a watered-down version of these Draconian rules that'll have everyone clutching their cloth caps in relief.

"Oi thank 'ee, sirrrr. Youm be verr' gud to us 'umble folks....."


morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 16:10:11

Apologies didn't mean to imply LP have no qualifications.

BrianCoxIsUpTheDuff Wed 10-Oct-12 16:48:06

The new uc is to be trialed in Tameside, Wigan, Warrington and another town I forget

FFS! Oh well, at least I can give you all the heads up as I live in one of these towns!

I am a single parent, one DD (8) and DC2 due in April. I work 16 hours a week at £7.50 per hour. My job is amazing, there will be a full time role available for me eventually, but with the economy the way it is the company are working at bare minimum staff levels. Also, childminding costs are such that unless I got some help, I wouldnt be able to work outside of school hours (currently work 10-2)

In the long run, I could be running my office and earning a really decent wage - I do not want to have to give that up just so in the short term I could earn a bit more for a LOT more hours/commute/hassle with childminders etc.

Reading through everything and the links, doing the calculator, I think I will be about the same as I am on tax credits. Unless I am missing somethign.

Am I right, from a LP stand point, that you will only be on condition if you are working 16 hours at the minimum wage? Anything above min wage, they will leave you alone?

Really is a bag of shite quite frankly. The Tories won't last another election, by which time Labour will be back in and if the UC has been pushed through I can't see it would be feasible for them to just wash their hands of it and start from scratch on a new system. What is Labour's view on this, other than thinking it is a bad idea - what are they proposing?

I do agree that we need to make savings, that much is obvious, but why hit the poorest people in society?

It isn't about entitlement or wanting more for less, it is about earning a wage in a really fucked up economy, doing the best you can.

Not everyone on benefits/tax credits has spent their life languishing at the expense of the tax payer. Some, like myself, have gone from earning a fantastic wage to hitting hard times and making the most of things based on what is on offer (work-wise).

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 16:51:23

"The Tories won't last another election"

I really hope you're right.

BrianCoxIsUpTheDuff Wed 10-Oct-12 17:02:38

I live in hope, don't piss on my chips by suggesting otherwise ha wink

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 10-Oct-12 17:19:51

to those of you talking about national minimum wage as being £6.08 you may like to know that as of the 1st oct that has now increased to £6.19 if you are over 21.

and from what i can gather it will effect those on nmw and above untill you earn £7.22 so basicly anything under £7.22 an hour your hit by it but over your safe.

Trickle Wed 10-Oct-12 17:20:37

mino - not so sure about that, they are currently planning to cut welfare for everyone except pensioners - that means UC, which includes housing costs by another 10bn on top of the 16bn alreadt planned..

I am a lone parent who has been self employed for 3 years and turning over about 4 grand profit. I'm screwed. Before now I could have dropped wtc and just relied on ctc wt but im guessing not now.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 18:58:05


Me too, we could be neighbours. I think my family will be applying straight away as well, as we have an unavoidable change in circumstances in August, as ds2 leaves education. So we won't stay under the tax credit system sad. My one consolation though we would have been losing this money anyway. Could have just done with a bit longer as we stand to lose alot if our accountant isn't right about the loophole she has found.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 19:03:38

I don't understand where the £7.22 comes from. All the reports I have seen state nmw which will be £6.19 and 35 hours worked per week. Why is there a difference.

Also can somebody tell me what the nmw per annum would be please? I have done a sum but not sure about hol pay, entitlement etc.

Viviennemary Wed 10-Oct-12 19:04:03

The Tories won't last another election?? I wouldn't bet on it. Quite frankly.

BrianCoxIsUpTheDuff Wed 10-Oct-12 19:16:08

I can dream Vivienemary

I don't rate Labour either, which makes me even more glum about the whole sorry situation.

We are royally fucked.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 10-Oct-12 19:17:15

Fucking hell, you have to be educated to above NVQ lvl 2 in our town to earn over £7.22 an hour.

I know someone who works FT (for the NHS no less) in Catering, has 19 years of experience, and his wage for a 37.5hr week is...£7.05 an hour. And that is seen as a GOOD wage in our town in the SE, for anyone not commuting to London for mega wages.

zebrafinch Wed 10-Oct-12 19:24:40

Does anyone know what the definition of a household will be under Universal Credit? I am a lone parent of a severely disabled son registered blind quadriplegic needs 24/7 care. When he is an adult living at home with me will we be deemed a household? If so he will not be eligible for income based benefits as I know I will not qualify for UC.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 10-Oct-12 19:25:12

Hang on, let me get this straight. Someone takes a job now, for NMW on PT hours, and they get transferred to UC and are much worse off. Yet if they sit on IS for as long as it takes the DWP to get around to transferring them (which could be as far away as 2017), they could stay on IS and be better off?

And that is meant to incentivise people to get a job, when they know that they will have to claim UC and be worse off if they do, as it will be a change of circumstance?

<<Scratches head>>

I personally have already been advised not to put in a new claim for ESA, despite the fact that I should get it - because I will be transferred straight away to UC and be worse off. hmm

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 19:35:51


Just wondering if it was a professional who told you this? UC hasn't come in yet, as far as I am aware the benefit office are still working on implementation. I also believe it is to be rolled out over several months/years in different areas. I think the only people who need to worry are those people in the NW towns to receive it first.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 19:40:56


Just a thought but thought i'd prepare you. I think/ pretty sure, your change of circumstance i.e birth in April will mean you will transfer to UC, I believe You and I will be one of the first transfers. sad sad

Wigeon Wed 10-Oct-12 19:46:27

Couthy - I think the idea is that you are always better off in work, so I think the theory is that if you take a job, the UC plus the job will ensure that you are better off working than not working. Even now. I don't think the govt wants people hanging around on IS who want to work!

The benefit cap is relevant here - the govt basically want to make sure that people on benefits are not better off than people in work. There's a calculator on that link which will show you whether the benefit cap would apply to you (from April 2013).

So, the logic is that you are always better off working, and you won't get more on benefits than people who are working. Jobcentre have a "Better Off" calculator which is meant to show how you'll be better off in work than on benefits. In theory again.

But various of the charities have come up with scenarios of people who might lose out in the move to UC - and it all gets terribly complicated because people are complicated (hours working, what age you are, what other benefits you are entitled to, childcare costs, wage, household etc etc etc).

Jobcentre or CAB should be able to advise in individual situations. <reaches limit of knowledge>.

Acumens100 Wed 10-Oct-12 19:46:38

According to those calculations, we will be about six thousand pounds a year better off????

I'm totally ??!?!?!

I must admit I am surprised. Never expected that! Will try to restrain myself from mentally purchasing a short wheelbase EPIOC and new x10 and a headmouse...damn! grin No, don't worry, I know it would never truly happen.

zookeeper Wed 10-Oct-12 19:51:32

As I understand it, it doesn't matter if you work part time as long as you earn more that the equivalent of whatever 35 hours at minimum wage. So someone working 18 hours at £15 an hour will be ok but someone working 30 hours at 7.50 won't be. It that right?

Does anyone know what the minimum wage is as an annual figure for a 35 hour week?

PeppermintLatte Wed 10-Oct-12 19:52:20

Is it set in stone yet? Do we have anywhere that we can find information that will us exactly how it will affect us all personally? I'm worrying, but i son't know exactly what for, i know i'm fucked, but how fucked??

whistlingwaves meet your mate, i'm in a V similar boat to you. Self employed earning a shit profit.

PeppermintLatte Wed 10-Oct-12 19:53:24

*that will tell us
*don't, not son't

ike1 Wed 10-Oct-12 19:54:40

zookeeper it is £212.80 pw

BrianCoxIsUpTheDuff Wed 10-Oct-12 19:55:47

I think that even transferring to UC when DC2 is born, I should still fall out of the catchment for the conditions because I will be on mat leave, returning at 6 months and on £7.50 an hour.

Obviously, DC2 will have to go to nursery between 9am and 3pm, so not sure how that will affect any claim. I believe UC still pays up to 70% childcare? But how much help will I qualify? I earn £7.50 an hour, how much is nursery? A big chunk of that I'm sure. If I have to look for more hours/higher pay, surely that just increases childcare costs and I'm still fooked!?

It is such a nightmare, I have no idea what will happen.

My biggest fear is losing/having to give up my current position - I imagine my company would possibly reach a compromise if I asked, but who knows. Long term, I am on to a career there - with a good salary, no UC required!

I hate the not knowing. How can they be on the verge of launching this and have such little information for us to get our heads around it!?

zookeeper Wed 10-Oct-12 19:56:33

thanks is that gross or net ike?

BrianCoxIsUpTheDuff Wed 10-Oct-12 19:58:56

As I understand it, it doesn't matter if you work part time as long as you earn more that the equivalent of whatever 35 hours at minimum wage. So someone working 18 hours at £15 an hour will be ok but someone working 30 hours at 7.50 won't be. It that right?

As I understood it, this applies to anybody who doesn't meet the criteria - so if you have a child under 5, but are working PT, you will not have to attend interviews/look for other work (same if you are a carer, lone parent etc) I think what you have quoted is aimed at child-free households?

I think confused

zookeeper Wed 10-Oct-12 20:09:36

God i feel sick - I take home about £856 a month as it is working 21 hours a week and today have been told at work we are to have a pay cut next year of some 25% I have three dcs and am a lone parent. It doesn't look good for me does it?

zookeeper Wed 10-Oct-12 20:12:18

I feel very fearful for the future sad

BrianCoxIsUpTheDuff Wed 10-Oct-12 20:12:34

How old are your DC's zoo ?

In one of the links upthread (I have read that many, I can't recall which) it did say something about parents with children under 13 not being pursued if childcare is an issue (I am paraphrasing)

Viviennemary Wed 10-Oct-12 20:16:21

I tried that calculator and entered a few hypothetical amounts. From what I could work out it seems that it's only housing benefit that's being cut. And if you get under £250 a week housing benefit it doesn't seem to be cut at all. I tried single parent with one child.

zookeeper Wed 10-Oct-12 20:20:18

mine are 11,8 and 7. I'm just reading something about it which says it's only being partially introduced in April in one area; will try to link

zookeeper Wed 10-Oct-12 20:24:39

zookeeper Wed 10-Oct-12 20:25:43

can't seem to make it work

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 20:38:08

I'm still struggling to see the wider implications of the uc in terms of what jobs will be affected and also how it will work out. For example what happens to part time workers who can't find additional work, will they get any money at all, will they leave their jobs and become unemployed?
Its quite scary that the lowest hours/pay are services that many rely on such as childcare workers, TA's in schools, etc.

SkinnyMarinkADink Wed 10-Oct-12 22:09:06

Jesus, had a read of that self employed link and i am very very worried for the future!i hope my town is the 2017 lot to be changed!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 10-Oct-12 22:15:22

Truthfully, I have known for ages (and was yelling on MN as loudly as I could, under my old name) about just how awful UC will be.

In my case, my eyewateringly expensive costs of SN childcare would cripple me if I was working. Two DC's with SN's needing childcare, plus a toddler that would need Nursery, plus before & after school club for the other one...

As for the ESA, I know the ins and outs of why it would be a stoopid idea to vlaim right now, to do with the fact that I WILL get turned down at first and have to appeal, and due to the current lead times on appeal hearings for ESA (currently *18 MONTHS*), I would be well into UC territory before my appeal is ever heard. Which would push me onto UC.

I am very well informed about the horrors to come from UC, that most people can't even begin to imagine.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 10-Oct-12 22:22:39

Most retail jobs here are 15-22.5 hrs. With contracts that state that you can't take a second job.

Nobody seems to have factored these employment contracts into UC legislation. How can someone working a PT retail job for NMW take a second job if that leads to them losing the first one?

And if they get sacked from the first one (because the jobcentre has made them take a second job), then they will get their UC sanctioned...

It makes you wonder - either the coalition KNOW that this is an issue and don't care that their figures for claimants has gone down because they have sanctioned so many people, or they genuinely don't have a clue what they are going to be doing to practically every supermarket worker that needs to claim UC as a top up.

The cynic in me says that they know EXACTLY what they are doing, if they lose their job through breach of contract, their first sanction will be 3 months. After 12 weeks of hunger, no money at all, you would be much more compliant about doing Workfare in order to eat...

But then, I'm VERY cynical...

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 10-Oct-12 22:28:04

What they want is for anybody that can survive without UC to do so. Those that literally have no choice (Lone Parents, Carers, people with disabilities) will be so compliant over workfare that the Government will have a ready made slave labour pool at the ready.

I feel that the Coalition's intention is to sweep away 100 years of increasing rights for the poor in one fell swoop.

I'm sure that if the Tories win the next election, we WILL see workhouses in the UK again.

picnicbasketcase Wed 10-Oct-12 22:33:06

What happens if one parent works full time and the other is a SAHP? Do they get UC or do both have to be working? I honestly don't know what the hell we're meant to do if we're both meant to work, DH works shifts which change every week so I don't have fixed hours I can work.

MissFenella Wed 10-Oct-12 22:43:09

Uc starts in Oct 2013 not this year.

GockandJuice Wed 10-Oct-12 22:43:42

This is all so confusing! At the moment I work 16 hours per week and take overtime as much as I can, I work in retail and tbh all the jobs I applied for were part time with oppurtunities for overtime, some weeks I can do nearly 40 hours sometimes it's my basic 16 but what will happen to me when this comes in? At the moment DS is under 5 but he will be 5 by the time this happens.

MissFenella Wed 10-Oct-12 22:47:56

You report your additional hours worked and the benefit is adjusted but you don't get like for like deductions.

For every pound extra you get they deduct 80p (I think).

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 22:49:44

"Uc starts in Oct 2013 not this year." That depends on where you live. The NW are being used as guinea pigs so are getting it earlier than that.

MissFenella Wed 10-Oct-12 22:51:19

Aufanie - pathfinder starts in October 2013.

GockandJuice Wed 10-Oct-12 22:51:42

But I'll have to prove I'm looking for full time work?

MissFenella Wed 10-Oct-12 22:52:02

apols for spelling - Aufaniae

CakePops Wed 10-Oct-12 22:52:40

What's the figure that a couple with two children (one between 5-13 will have to bring home a month in order to claim UC?

And does anyone know the cut off point in which you can't claim UC as a couple?

MissFenella Wed 10-Oct-12 22:53:57

No Gock because you already have a job and are seeking additional hours where you can and working them. Also with a young child you may not be in the work search group.
Attention will be concentrated on those who do no paid employment at all - as it is now.

MissFenella Wed 10-Oct-12 22:56:31

As I understand UC gets rid of existing benefits and makes one payment to a household based on their income and dependant on their circumstances. So the cut off point will be different for each household.

GockandJuice Wed 10-Oct-12 22:59:20

Right! Thanks for that info! smile

brdgrl Thu 11-Oct-12 00:09:11

Don't think this has been posted already - short piece about the efect on part-time workers -

merrymouse Thu 11-Oct-12 00:09:18

Thanks for pasting that link to the icaew, minou minou

To quote the link:

"Self-employed earnings’ will be computed on an adjusted cash basis which is entirely at odds not only with the GAAP-based assessment of trading profit currently used for tax purposes, but also the ‘simplified’ cash basis HMRC is proposing for periods from 6 April 2013."

I thought the reporting system for self employed people applying for UC described in aufaniae's post way up thread seemed a bit odd (i.e. using reporting methods that would never be used by any accountant), but I thought I had somehow misunderstood it and that it couldn't be that bad. It appears that it is.

"We are strongly of the view that if implemented as they stand, these proposals will do severe and lasting damage to the small business sector in the UK." - not from some left wing think tank, but from one of the most 'establishment' professional bodies in the UK.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 01:04:55

It may not be brought in until October 2013, but with an 18 month lead time on ESA appeals currently, and knowing that the majority of people with my disabilities only get ESA in appeal, that would take me to April 2014 before my appeal date. Which would put me firmly in UC territory.

Because what they go us allow the appeal, then almost instantly call you in fog a medical assessment, which loses the ESA you have just been awarded, and as you can't appeal more than once every 6 months, you would have no choice but to claim UC...

They really do have it all worked out.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 01:07:43

Cake. Given my previous calculations, the minimum you would have to earn as a couple would be 16hrs at £7.22 for the 'designated main carer' of the DC's, plus 35 hrs at £7.22 for the 'designated main earner'.

Not an easy feat tbh.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 11-Oct-12 01:11:45


The self employed come under more scrutiny than the employed. Its a nightmare and many small businesses will suffer because of the stupid hoops you are expected to jump through.
I don't think we'll qualify anymore. I know there are a couple of loopholes for some situations for s/e. But we like to be able to sleep at night. (Ha, look at the time)
I am not standing in a job centre for it to make no difference at all. Ok, if it helped business fine, someone else will have to tick their box.
We won't starve (just about). I don't mind losing the money so much as I know there are people worse of than us.
Anybody less than 35 hours x min wage forget it. Unless I am mistaken.
I can't see how anybody will be able to replenish stock, buy tools and equipment how can you work without these. Unless you have a good turnover you won't be able to get these so easily. (more red tape)
When you are attending Jobfare meetings and compulsory courses etc you are losing work.

CakePops Thu 11-Oct-12 09:34:51

Thanks Couthy, so as long as you earn that between you then you would be ok? For instance, if I learn leas than £7.22 an hour but dh earns more than that we'd be ok?

What happens if i am a sahm with a child under 3, and dh works fulltime on mw, would we still get help?
Im asking this as currently dh is redundant but we are hoping he gets a job soon which will be mw.

It's all confusing for me

merrymouse Thu 11-Oct-12 10:00:49

Well, following accounting principles, you don't buy all your equipment in January and think "Gosh I had a sh** January look at all those costs and no sales!", you spread the cost of the equipment over it's useful life (depreciation) and the tax system recognises this with capital allowances.

Not sure what principles the UC is following - the how much money can you stash in the biscuit tin under your bed school of accounting?

I thought the conservatives were supposed to support "strivers" and be anti red tape.

DrWhoExterminatesMyBrain Thu 11-Oct-12 10:15:50

Im pretty sure pumpkinsweetie, that once your youngest is 5 if your dh is only earning minimum wage you will have to go and work too, to avoid in work conditionality the household must be earning full time at a min of £7.22ph

i think.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 11-Oct-12 10:50:21


I know you wouldn't buy equipment at the wrong time, if you could help it. But the small businesses and self employed who are entitled to tc/uc are not earning a lot by definition.
Some people have to replenish stock and buy goods and services for their business on a just in time basis. Whilst I agree this is not an ideal way to run a business some have no alternative, reasons such as lack of stock storage, short shelf life. These people have to buy at certain times and if this takes your earnings under the nmw for that week you lose benefit.

Anotherusefulname Thu 11-Oct-12 10:52:03

I am very confused by all of this.
Currently DH works 37 hours at £8.02 an hour and I am a SAHM my youngest will be 5 in November 2014.
We took a longterm view that I am doing an OU degree with a view to doing a PGCE (I was a teaching assistant prior to having children) and timed it so that I will be qualified and hopefully beginning a job September 2017 (when my youngest is almost 8 and starts junior school and my eldest is at secondary school and able to walk youngest down to her nans so no childcare costs).
As I understood it I would have to stop claiming tax credits when I began the PGCE (a year long course) as it is full time education, which we feel we could just about manage for a year.
Will I be expected to work at least 16 hours once youngest is 5? if so this messes up my plan as in order to complete my degree within this timeframe I would have to do 2 OU modules together the year youngest is in year 1 (32 hours study a week) which I wouldn't be able to manage whilst working 16 hrs.

If I was working 16 hours a week I would be earning more than we receive in tax credits so wouldn't be claiming UC anyway as we wouldn't need it. In our case it would be in the governments interest to give us the tax credits/UC until I begin my PGCE as at the point of qualification I would earn more and therefore pay more tax than working 16hrs at NMW as I would not claim UC if I had a job in either circumstance.

If I can't complete my degree then I am stuck on shitty money - surely the government will see it is better to take the long term view.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 11-Oct-12 11:02:28


I think there will be alot of money stuffed in tins, under beds etc. Not necessarily as avoidance to pay tax, but as a buffer to invent a job/hours when there is a shortfall. I know somebody already intending to do this.
Also I can't see how the gov can change the existing system for Ltd company directors, will they be considered as self employed rather than employees? Its an absolute nightmare and a disaster waiting to happen.

Viviennemary Thu 11-Oct-12 11:10:58

I just assumed from what I've read that the new benefit rules would apply as long as there was at least one person in the household working. But I couldn't be absolutely sure on that.

I hope to be in work by the time she is 5 but what if i cannot get a job?
Jobs here are like gold dust, especially those that fit in with school hours

CakePops Thu 11-Oct-12 11:19:02

"If i was working 16hrd I would be earning more than I can in tc"

This is part of the plan isn't it? You both work to qualify but then you realise your not able to qualify as you earn jut over the threashold.

Anotherusefulname Thu 11-Oct-12 11:37:19

It's a stupid system.

To claim you have to both be working but certainly in our household if we were both working there would be no need to claim - what is the point of that?

I am just so glad that luck has meant I've been able to be a SAHM whilst mine are little, I had always intended to work once my youngest started junior school (as you see from the plan in my earlier post) I think this will mean I have to work earlier than intended, once she is at infant school but at least my parents are now retired and she won't have to go to before/after school club. The only thing is if I get a job in a school (what I was doing before and the only thing i have experience in and my NNEB qualification) I won't be able to attend in school events/plays/assemblies. I probably won't achieve my dream of teaching but we will have a roof over our heads and food on the table, and I won't be relying on the government for a penny.

ZeldaUpNorth Thu 11-Oct-12 12:13:16

If you buy stock one month which takes you under the minimum you can earn, i reckon a lot of people will just buy what they need with their own money (maybe savings) then the government will not have to give you the VAT back at the end of the year. Another scheme.

I feel so distressed about it all and feel we would actually be better off being un-employed (instead of self employed-but not making enough for UC) What sort of jobs are they expecting us to do on workfare?

BlueEyedPeas Thu 11-Oct-12 12:25:19

Does anyone know the situation for CIS workers. DH works self employed but through agencies so at the end of the week he gets paid by a company, tax taken off and gets a wage slip. But he still has to do a tax return at the end of each year. Thanks

merrymouse Thu 11-Oct-12 12:28:15

That's what I mean morethan. Standard accounting systems smooth out peaks and troughs in expenditure (e.g. by depreciation) and match income to cost. There are many businesses (e.g. farming) where goods are only sold at certain times of the year. Sometimes it may take more than a year to be able to start earning cash.

It seems to me that the only way to start a new small business and receive benefits would be to still do the 35 hours of pretending to apply for jobs or only to start a business with no start up/investment costs. People who run small businesses and rely on WTC to meet the shortfall appear to be stuffed.

I just can't see what the government is aiming at. It seems half baked and not ready for implementation, which is a bit odd as they have had quite a long time to think about an alternative to the current system.

merrymouse Thu 11-Oct-12 12:30:48

Oh, and also a business where you can start earning cash in month 1.

aufaniae Thu 11-Oct-12 13:36:30


"If I can't complete my degree then I am stuck on shitty money - surely the government will see it is better to take the long term view."

Well you would think taking the long term view would be sensible wouldn't you? But are this government interested in doing that? Let's examine the evidence:

- One of the first things they did was restrict access to higher education. Putting the fees up will not bring in any extra money. However it will reduce the numbers of people gaining degrees, which senior Tories (Gove was it?) is on public record saying he thinks that's no bad thing.

- Part-time workers on UC will not be able to claim full UC. Many will not be able to make ends meet and will end up on benefits as a result. This is not good for their prospects

- Part-time workers will be forced to take jobs with more hours or better pay, even if the prospects are rubbish. This doesn't look at the long term view.

- Many under 25s are to be made homeless. (Half of these households are families with children) Those who find themselves on the streets or in poor and insecure accommodation will not be in a great position to study. Those who end up in B&Bs will cost the state more money than HB did - unless they remove provision for B&Bs, in which case they'll end up on the streets. It's well documented that homelessness (including living in insecure housing) affects people's long-term prospects, so this is not taking the long term view either

- The self-employed who fail to meet minimum wage by the end of the first year will be subjected to workfare and other measures. Seeing as most business advisers say new businesses should be happy to break even at the end of the first year, this will cripple many potentially very sucessful new businesses and is also ignoring the long-term view.

These are just a few examples.

This government do not believe in investing in people. Their recent speeches and announcement of new worker contracts gives you an idea of what they're up to.

They want you to sign away your workers' rights - for example the right to challenge unfair dismissal. They want us to be able to compete with developing countries, and / or countries with terrible records on employment and human rights. They want to create a workforce which is perpetually scared of losing the roofs over our heads, and too ground down to protest. Why would they need you to be educated? That's a luxury for the elite. They want us to be compliant, and grateful. And it'll be fair as no one will be able to afford bloody plasma TVs. Well except the rich, but that's OK as it’ll give us plebs something to aspire to. After all, we're all in it together.

timeforathink Sat 13-Oct-12 23:22:27

its 16 to 18 hrs for under 5 ,once you child is over five its school hours up to age 13 then over 13 years the 35 hrs comes into play thats how i understood it .

timeforathink Sat 13-Oct-12 23:25:28

sorry entered too early , thats for for single parents

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