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CAS - MP Briefing for Queen's Speech (10 May 2021)

Building Social Security Back Post-Pandemic

The last year has shown the vital importance of our social security safety net. However, Universal Credit (UC) is unlikely to feature in the Government’s legislative agenda tomorrow. This risks missing lessons from the pandemic. While UC survived the influx of new claimants—in part by easing verification procedures and conditionality—fundamental aspects of its design have continued to put people in hardship. Reform is urgently needed so people have security and support as furlough is withdrawn and the economy reopens.

CAS is calling for:

› A review of UC’s adequacy as an in- and out-of-work benefit, with the £20 a week uplift made permanent

› Restoration of Work Allowances for all people on UC and a review of the Taper Rate

› The continued suspension of the Minimum Income Floor, with permanent changes to how self-employed income is assessed for UC going forward

› The introduction of a non-repayable assessment period payment to replace the current five week wait and Advance Payment system

› The ending of sanctions and unaffordable deductions

› Wider access to offline options for making and maintaining a UC claim and the introduction of implicit consent for CAB and other welfare rights advisers

› A fair, flexible, and safe transition to UC for those on legacy benefits, with an extension of the uplift and freedom to return to legacy benefits if UC entitlement is lower

David Scott
Publication date
May 2021
Publication type