The All Party Parliamentary Group on Universal Credit has issued a report, What needs to change in Universal Credit?
Universal Credit was designed to enable people to get by in a world of insecure work, so they could move in and out of employment without having to make different claims, and to adapt to a fluctuating income by providing a stable income floor. In general, if your income increases one month, your Universal Credit reduces by 63% of that increase the next month. If your income falls, your UC payment rises next month.
This is a sound principle, but in practice, many claimants say they cannot understand how their UC is worked out, and it is subject to so many variations that it is far harder to budget on UC that it was on tax credits, which provided a flat level of 4-weekly payments for a year.
Key changes to the design of Universal Credit could significantly improve the overall experience of claimants to protect them from hardship, and enable them to achieve a more stable income, to budget better, and to avoid debts or arrears.