Benefit should be paid weekly

Date: Friday 21st December 2018

AN Eden businessman and former banker has submitted evidence to the Government’s treasury select committee on financial exclusion, highlighting his belief that the present systems alienate those on low incomes.

Adrian Hill, Woodside Farm, Brougham, said in a lengthy written submission to the committee that universal credit is one of the greatest enemies of people trapped in poverty.

He wanted to see weekly payment of the benefit and payment of the housing element to the recipient, instead of their landlord, stopped as this has resulted in some people using the money for spending on things other than on their rent. He said: “Seventy-three per cent of UC claimants are in arrears on their rent — that is compared to 31 per cent on the old system. The average arrears if they are renting from a private landlord is £1,600. I find that shocking.

“Poor people are always short of cash. Saving tends to be a dream. Actually they are often rather good with money. You try to live on benefits, it means juggling.”

He added that affordability rules laid out by the Financial Conduct Authority prevented many self-employed people from having a mortgage.