A quiet modification to the DWP’s website might signify countless individuals face a Universal Credit cut within weeks, MPs fear.
Speculation is mounting that a little-known benefit cap for the self-employed will be renewed on November13
The’ Minimum Earnings Floor'( MIF)- which affects an approximated450,000 self-employed UC plaintiffs -was suspended for eight months due to Covid -19
But that reprieve is currently set to expire on November 12, and ministers still haven’t confirmed if it will be extended.
Authorities have now sustained speculation that the MIF will reboot in simply two weeks’ time by tweaking the phrasing of an essential site.
Previously a federal government site stated the suspension “will last throughout of the break out.”
However eventually between August and this week that wording was changed, and now says: “You will be informed prior to the Minimum Income Floor is reinstated for you.”
Work and Pensions Committee chairman Stephen Timms, who spotted the change, required urgent responses from ministers.
In a letter to them last night the Labour MP asked: “Should we comprehend from this that it is no longer the Government’s policy that the Minimum Income Floor will be suspended throughout of the outbreak?
” If so, when did you make that choice, and on what grounds?”
The MIF is developed to stop taxpayers propping up failed companies for self-employed people who make a loss.
Usually, for every ₤ 1 of revenues a low-paid worker loses in a pay cut, they get 63 p back in Universal Credit.
But under the MIF, people who are “gainfully self-employed” are treated as though they earn minimum wage – even if they don’t actually earn that much.
As soon as a person’s revenues dip below the minimum wage “floor”, their Universal Credit is capped and can’t rise any further.
The IFS think tank approximates the MIF affects 450,000 low-income homes to the tune of ₤ 3,200 a year.
DWP authorities have firmly insisted not every self-employed claimant will be struck by the MIF.
Universal Credit director Neil Couling stated it only strikes those who are defined as “gainfully self-employed” – suggesting those who have no earnings are “likely” to be spared.
He tweeted: “Position on MIF constantly more nuanced than headlines recommend.”
There are likewise other exemptions – for instance, it doesn’t apply to firms in their very first 12 months.