Stephen Lloyd calls for action to help victims of domestic violence through Universal Credit

I’m really glad to see that Stephen Lloyd has written to Esther McVey to ask for action to reform Universal Credit to ensure that victims of domestic violence have access to their own money.

The Scottish Party’s landmark Social Security Bill allows for the default splitting of payments between members in a household, but ideally we need to find a solution for the whole UK.

At the moment, the benefit is paid to one person, usually the man.

If domestic abuse is going on in a relationship, there is likely to be financial abuse too so it’s important to ensure that each person has access to some money.

Stephen said:

Among the litany of failures that is Universal Credit, this is one of the most disturbing and damaging.

I believe it should be at the very top of Esther McVey’s priorities. Without fast remedial work on the very processes of Universal Credit, some people’s lives may well be put in danger.

I will be demanding the minister acts quickly before it is too late.

The full text of his letter is below:

Dear Esther

Re: Universal Credit Split Payments

I am writing to you on the aforementioned topic of split payments of Universal Credit. Under its current implementation, the single monthly household payment of UC makes it easier for domestic abusers to seize and regulate family income and prevent partners from leaving the home.

At present the only way to arrange a split payment of a couple’s Universal Credit is on request. For a victim of domestic abuse, having to make this request will often put them at more danger of abuse from their partner. A recent survey of domestic abuse victims by the charity Women’s Aid found almost 85 per cent of respondents feared the abuse would get worse if their partner found out they had asked for their benefit payment to be divided.

I urge you, for the sake of the victims of domestic abuse, take action immediately. Either to make it easier to request split payments or make split payments the default payment method for couples, including dividing payments so that the child credit element is made payable to the main carer, usually the mother, which was the case with child tax credits.

All the best,

Stephen Lloyd MP

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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6 Comments

  • david thorpe 11th May '18 - 7:49pm

    excellent work from stephen

  • Just a pity he didn’t think about this when he voted for Universal Credit.

  • Sue Sutherland 12th May '18 - 2:40pm

    David Raw, I have just posted a response to Carol’s post about the plastic bag fiasco, but it’s still being moderated so it may not appear even though I’m fairly convinced I didn’t use any rude words.
    Like you, I hated the years of Coalition when we seemed to turn our backs on what I thought we stood for so I am anxious for the party to turn its back on those years. It seems to me that Stephen is trying to do this. When Universal Credit was proposed I don’t think anyone realised what suffering it was going to cause, but isn’t much of that suffering to do with the callous way it’s being implemented rather than the actual idea itself? I know you are much more in contact with those who have fallen foul of Universal credit than I am so the question is a genuine one.
    However, I can’t see how we as a party can put Coalition behind us unless some of our MPs, including our leader are allowed to change their minds. How would you suggest they go about this?

  • david thorpe 14th May '18 - 10:06am

    stephen was not the minister for universal credit or anything else, itas the ministers, including the current leader of the party who are responsible.

  • david thorpe 14th May '18 - 10:10am

    why do people think the coaltion was not popular? the other party in the colation got their best result for a quarter of a centiury, adnd we lost votes to them. we avhieved much in that govt and should emphasise that, not apoloigise for it.

    Apoligies dont work, clegg did it with tuition fees and it achieved nothing, for once in the existence of the party can we rely on evidence to make decisions?

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