Four single working mothers have won a High Court challenge against the UK government after claiming universal credit, the new controversial welfare reform programme, left them with “dramatically fluctuating” incomes.
The women said they were left financially worse off under the system and their income significantly varied from month to month because of the method used by the Department for Work and Pensions to calculate UC.
They argued that they could be underpaid by the DWP if they received a salary from their employers on a date which clashed with their assessment for the benefit.
Just over 1m people currently claim UC, which merges six existing benefits, including housing benefit and child tax credits, into one monthly payment. The aim is to simplify the welfare system — both to help claimants and cut fraud — and encourage work.
The roll out of the new system has been plagued with delays and charities have blamed it for increasing poverty in areas where it has been introduced.
Amber Rudd, the UK work and pensions secretary, announced on Friday that the two-child limit for families making new universal credit benefit claims is to be scrapped for households who had a third child before the policy came into effect.
The cabinet minister had also delayed a vote in the Commons which would have called on MPs to allow for 3m benefit claimants to be moved on to the new flagship programme.