Universal credit payment cuts takes families further into poverty

Universal Tax cuts

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Due to overpayments in universal credit, many families have had their payments cut or are facing debt collectors because of overpaid tax credits.

Some claimants weren’t even aware of the debt and there are others who received the tax credit overpayment more than ten years ago.

MPs and Campaigners have called for the collection of the overpayments to be stopped because of the effect it is having on families who are already facing poverty and others who are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Sky News obtained official figures which show that last year 1.3 million people claiming universal credit had their payments cut because of tax credit overpayments in the past.

The HMRC stated that many of the overpayments were caused by errors or fraud by the claimants, although a large number of the errors were made by officials and that in some circumstances HMRC was putting the blame for the errors on the claimants when it was clearly not the case.

One such case is a woman who clearly told HMRC she was no longer caring for her three children the credit payments did not stop and were accessed by the woman’s ex-husband to support the children he was now looking after.

The payments eventually stopped. But now, almost eight years later the HRMC are cutting the women’s universal credit payments by £20 a month to recover the debt of £2,379.26. After Sky news intervened and spoke to the HRMC the debt has now been cancelled, but this still leaves many more people in a similar situation.

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Source: https://news.sky.com/story/more-than-a-million-universal-credit-payments-cut-over-the-past-year-because-of-historical-overpaid-tax-credits-12840429

Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.