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Does universal credit enable households to reach a minimum income standard?

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posted on 13.03.2015, 14:55 authored by Donald HirschDonald Hirsch, Yvette Hartfree
This report looks at the impact Universal Credit (UC) will have on the disposable incomes of families with low or no earnings. It examines whether they have enough to reach a minimum acceptable standard of living, as measured by the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for the United Kingdom. The report helps to show how successful UC will be in achieving the key objective of improving work incentives. It also explores how far the credit will enable households to work in order to obtain a socially acceptable standard of living rather than simply to escape dire poverty. This report shows: • how much families on various wages and working hours will be left with after paying taxes, rent and childcare costs and receiving UC; • what potential they have to increase this amount by working more hours; • how these amounts compare to a minimum benchmark, MIS; • how this situation compares to the old system in 2013; and • the impact of other changes in state support, past, present and planned for the future.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Research Unit

  • Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP)


HIRSCH, D. and HARTFREE, Y., 2013. Does universal credit enable households to reach a minimum income standard? York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 26pp.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation / © Loughborough University


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This report is also available at: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications



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