The Guardian view on universal credit: flawed calculations | Editorial

This week’s court defeat for the government is further evidence of the system’s shortcomings, and the suffering these can cause

The four single working mothers who took the government to court over the way that universal credit payments are calculated should be applauded. That two high court judges have ruled in their favour is further evidence of flawed judgment at the Department for Work and Pensions. Ministers must now decide whether to appeal, or make a new set of adjustments to the stuttering benefits system, as they prepare for a scaled-back roll-out in July.

The problem at the heart of these women’s case was the automated assessment of monthly income. Because of accidents of the calendar, such as paydays falling on weekends, in some months they were paid twice, and in others not at all. The effect was wildly fluctuating payments and lost allowances, leading in one case to a woman giving up work. While the details are technical, the lesson is straightforward. Their example is just the latest in a long series of illustrations of how universal credit’s design fails to match the lives and needs of real people.

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Source: The Guardian
The Guardian view on universal credit: flawed calculations | Editorial