Letter to James Cartlidge MP about Universal Credit

Dear James Cartlidge,

RE: Universal Credit

I was shocked to read today that self-employed people like myself may be severely worse off under Universal Credit than they were under the previous benefits system.

According to a report in the Huffington Post, a clause in the regulations termed the “minimum income floor” requires the self-employed to prove they earn at least the National Living Wage consistently in order to receive entitlements in full each month.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/universal-credit-clause-threatens- further-scandal-for-governments-welfare-reform_uk_59e86541e4b08f9f9edce2df?

Until about two years ago, my late husband and I ran a small business doing translation, proof-reading and language analysis work. We claimed Working Tax Credit to supplement our income, and this was a godsend because it enabled us to pay our rent and bills. While we were able to organise our work so that we could meet the "hours per week" requirement, our income from that work fluctuated dramatically from month to month.

We stopped claiming when my husband became too ill to work and I was also unable to work 30 hours a week because of his illness. At present, fortunately, I have other work and income; however, it is quite possible that at some future time I will once again depend on my self-employment activities and may need to claim benefits to supplement my income. If I have to claim under the Universal Credit rules I believe I will be severely disadvantaged because of the nature of the work that I do.

I urge you to do all you can to bring this unfair clause to the attention of the Government and get it removed. Would you be prepared to ask a question in the House about this please?

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Susan Blackwell

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