By default, households receive Universal Credit in one payment, into one bank account – usually one belonging to a male partner.
Refuge frontline staff have encountered many cases where the perpetrator has had a Universal Credit payment paid into their bank account, then used that money as a tool for coercive control.
This includes women being given strict allowances, at times resulting in them forgoing food and basic necessities in order to prioritise feeding their children.
I have campaigned tirelessly to change this.
Actions I have taken include:
- Discussed split payments with local organisations at constituency roundtable on UC
- Raised need for automatic split payments at meeting with Minister for Employment
- Asked written questions on split payments
- Asked Leader of the House about automatic split payments at Business Questions
- Held Westminster Hall debate on Universal Credit split payments
- Opposition Day debate – highlighted UC split payments
- Asked a PMQ (Prime Minister’s Questions) on automatic split payments
I will continue to hold the Government to account on this issue.