Report Launch: How might Universal Credit increase the risk of financial abuse?

Events, Upcoming Events

3.00–4.30pm

Wednesday 20th June

Committee Room 15, House of Commons

The Women’s Budget Group (WBG), End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) and Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) invite you to the launch of our new report:

Universal Credit and Financial Abuse: exploring the links

Speakers include:   
Chair: Heidi Allen MP
Phillipa Whitford MP
Baroness Lister of Burtersett
Marilyn Howard (University of Bristol/Women’s Budget Group)

More speakers to be announced.

In April this year the Work and Pensions Select Committee heard evidence that the default payment of Universal Credit to a single bank account increases women’s vulnerability to financial abuse.

Our new report Universal Credit and Financial Abuse: exploring the links concludes that:

  • The assumption that benefit paid to one member of a couple will be shared ignores evidence about couples’ money management and financial abuse. Research shows different forms of money management can be practised within households, from pooling all income to one giving the other an allowance. Women often go without basic essentials themselves, especially where there are children and under male-controlled money management.
  • Single payments will mean that main carers (usually in practice mothers) will lose clearly-labelled child payments, which are often paid separately and can provide a lifeline to survivors.
  • Financial abuse is one aspect of economic abuse, which often occurs alongside other types of abuse such as psychological and physical. As with domestic abuse, financial abuse affects women more than men, lasts for longer and can continue post-separation. Financial abuse is not always recognised (by the survivor or by agencies) but is included in the crime of coercive control. The consequences of financial abuse include the survivor not being able to afford to leave an abusive partner.

Join us as we present the findings of the report and discuss alternative policy options.

To book a place please email emma.williams@wbg.org.uk