Blunder Leaves Easington Family On £1.60 A Day

14 December 2017, 14:08

Pocket money British coins

A family of eight in Easington are living on less than £1.60 a day after they were incorrectly told to claim Universal Credit, the town's MP has claimed.

Labour's Grahame Morris said the Government was not reinstating or backdating the family's child tax credits.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said Universal Credit was a better benefits system and improvements were being made.

Speaking at Business questions, Mr Morris said: "There's a family in my constituency who were told to claim Universal Credit, and shut down their child tax credit claim.

"That was the wrong advice, as they had more than two children.

"They're now being told to claim Jobseeker's Allowance, but HMRC won't reinstate or backdate their child tax credits.

"So there are eight people in my constituency, in one household, living on less than £1.60 a day.

"Given the UN's target of no-one should be below two dollars a day, how does that sit with the Government's anti-poverty strategy?"

Ms Leadsom said it was a "very specific and very concerning" case he may wish to raise with minister from the Department for Work and Pensions.

She added: "On Universal Credit more generally, what I can say to honourable members is that the Government really has listened.

"This is an attempt to ensure that Universal Credit provides a good solution for people, that combines six previous benefits into one, that improves access to childcare, that enables people to keep more of what they earn as they move into work.

"We've raised the value of advances so that people can get 100% of their first month's payment upfront if they need to, and then return it over 12 months.

"We've introduced an overlap for those already receiving housing benefit to ensure a smooth transition on to the new system.

"And, really importantly, Universal Credit is expected to boost employment by 250,000 because it's a simpler system that makes sure that work always pays."