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Women's Budget Group: Help us highlight the gender implications of Universal Credit!

(13 Posts)
thaira Mon 14-Jan-19 16:41:08

Hi all,
I hope you are all having a lovely Monday. My name is Thaira Mhearban and I work for the Women’s Budget Group (WBG) as a Communications Officer.
WBG is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that monitors the impact of government policies on men and women. We put forward policies for a more gender equal future and build the capacity of women and women’s groups to participate in economic debates.
We have campaigned and published extensive research on how Universal Credit is pushing too many women and their children into poverty and how it further disadvantages women.
Our reports have examined the causes and consequences of poverty for women in the UK.
We are keen to speak to women effected by Universal Credit or concerned about the welfare system. Your experiences and opinions can help influence our campaign work in order to pressure the government to make real reform that will show their commitment to ending austerity.
If you are interested in getting involved in the work we do or would like to find out more, please do get in touch
It would be great to have a chat and look at how we can work together to input in to economic debates and create progressive changes.
I look forward to hearing from you 😊
Kind regards,

AutumnCrow Mon 14-Jan-19 16:52:22

Hi Thaira,

This sounds really useful. I used to be involved in NATFHE and we spent a lot of time arguing the toss with higher education employers in particular that any introduction of conditions that negatively impacted on single parents (e.g. forcing them to work when childcare was not normally available for purchase, ie evenings and weekends) would disproportionately affect women in a negative way, because a very large majority of single parents are female.

It was in our view sex-based discrimination. Tribunals were agreeing.

I don't understand how the inherent sex-based discrimination in Universal Credit is legal.

PlectrumElectrum Mon 14-Jan-19 17:11:46

Hi, I'm not currently affected by UC but am a single parent who relied upon tax credits to maintain employment after I became a single parent. While my experience may not be relevant to the information on UC & its impact, it might be useful for comparison? I kept working while my child was in need of child care & I could only maintain my employment with the regular guaranteed TCs to cover childcare costs. Had I been in the position of not getting that regular payment to meet childcare costs, I'd had lost my childcare (after accruing debt), lost my job & then my home.

I can't imagine how stressful & worrying the current rules are on UC for women in the same position I was in, but without the guaranteed regular payment & security that gave me to maintain my employment.

LangCleg Mon 14-Jan-19 17:12:21

Just wanted to say thank you for a helpful contribution to the GRA consultation with regard to single sex services.

2010Equality Mon 14-Jan-19 19:52:59

Just wanted to say thank you for a helpful contribution to the GRA consultation with regard to single sex services

Yes its really good.

Just wanted to post the link here for people to read (but not derail)

Katvonbatshitmermaid Mon 14-Jan-19 21:33:53


NothingOnTellyAgain Mon 14-Jan-19 22:18:06

Bump smile

Anewoneforme Mon 14-Jan-19 22:39:49

We are not in UC, mainly because when we were on tax credits ,(I could not work due to severe SPD in pregnancy, and DH had been made redundant) they kept asking for repayments of overpayments. We got so anxious that they would keep asking for it back we tried not to spend any of it.
In fact last year, nearly 3 years since we stopped our claim they asked for yet another overpayment to be repaid!
I cannot return to work as I cannot find after school childcare for my two oldest. Youngest can go to a childminder fine, but none of the childminders that pick up from our school has space, the after school club is full with a waiting list. I have no family to help. And I live in a city!
Childcare is a real problem!
I'm sure we would be eligible for UC but I don't want it cocked up and then be given a huge bill again.

QuietContraryMary Mon 14-Jan-19 22:47:18

one difference between UC & TC is that with UC capital is limited to £6,000 without 'taxation', and excess capital above £6k (to an absolute limit of £16k) will be 'taxed' at a rate of around 13%.

thus in a divorce/separation, where typically the mother will have custody of children, there is a strong incentive for a settlement between the parents to leave the capital with the father, perhaps subject to some sort of promise/under-the-table arrangement, in order that the mother gets some kind of help.

Also the migration rules may discourage separation, as a change of circumstances triggers a migration to universal credit from tax credits, so if you are on tax credits and have £16k+ in savings, and kick out your partner, then you will lose your tax credits and have no entitlement to universal credit.

QuietContraryMary Mon 14-Jan-19 22:49:03

sorry further to the above, the incentive to leave the mother with nothing creates a control situation for the father

thaira Thu 17-Jan-19 12:11:56

Thank you all so much for your feedback and experiences. It has been very helpful. If you know of anyone who would like to share their experiences of being on Universal Credit or are interested in getting involved in our campaign work then please do pass my details on to them.

I am keen to have a wide range of voices and experiences input into our work in influencing the government to make progressive changes in welfare reform.

HelenaDove Thu 17-Jan-19 14:21:41

HelenaDove Thu 17-Jan-19 22:39:47

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