‘More than 2.7m’ will struggle with universal credit

More than 2.7 million benefit recipients think they will struggle to make sense of their payment options when universal credit is introduced, according to estimates by the Payments Council, the organisation responsible for overseeing the bank and card transfers system. The Payments Council surveyed 6,097 adults in Great Britain over the period between 28 August and 5 September 2013.

When universal credit is introduced most people will receive their benefits once a month, rather than weekly or fortnightly.

Key findings

  • One in two of those people eligible for universal credit – equivalent to just over 2.7 million people – believe the new system will make it more difficult for them to manage their money. Common concerns include running into or increasing debt, and struggling to pay bills or rent on time.
  • Nearly half of those people who will be affected by universal credit have not considered the changes they will need to make to their budgeting habits.
  • Four in ten people affected by universal credit say they prefer to budget their money using cash.
  • Over a third of all adults in the UK don't know the total of their monthly household bills, including rent. A quarter admit not knowing when money is scheduled to go in or out of their bank account.
  • 65 per cent of people don't know how much interest they pay on their credit or store cards, and 33 per cent don't know what their overdraft limit is.
  • 30 per cent of people don't know the difference between a direct debit and a standing order, and 23 per cent of don't know how to cancel or change a direct debit.

Source: Press release 1 October 2013, Payments Council
LinksPayments Council press release | BBC report | Inside Housing report


Publication date: 
Oct 2 2013