Universal Credit: overview and gender implications

Fran Bennett

in Social Policy Review 24

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781447304470
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307662 | DOI:
Universal Credit: overview and gender implications

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From October 2013, the UK government is introducing a new ‘super’ means-tested benefit, universal credit, bringing together various payments for those in and out of work. Its main goals are to simplify the benefits system, improve work incentives and combat ‘welfare dependency’. This chapter outlines the main provisions of the proposed scheme and reactions to it. The core of the chapter is an examination of universal credit from a gender perspective, in particular in relation to access to income for individuals in couples. Specific features discussed include the effects on ‘second earners’ and the arrangements for payment. The author argues for ‘welfare reform’ such as this to be analysed in terms of not only the numbers of men and women affected in terms of resources, but also what impact it may have on gender roles and relationships; the potential for individuals to achieve financial autonomy; and gender inequalities within the household, both immediately and in the longer term.

Keywords: Universal credit; Gender analysis; Welfare reform; Benefit payment; Second earners

Chapter.  8015 words. 

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