To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in what circumstances deductions are made from a claimant's universal credit payment in order to contribute to her Department's administration costs; and if she will make a statement.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
26 March 2019
The Department does not take deductions from a claimant’s Universal Credit award with the sole intent of contributing to the Department’s administrative costs.
For example, where payments of child maintenance are made via the Child Maintenance Service, rather than directly between clients, a 20% collection fee is incurred by the paying parent. This applies to deductions from benefit, including Universal Credit, in the same way as any other collection method.
Similarly, in cases of benefit fraud an administrative penalty can be recovered as a deduction. These penalties are offered as an alternative to prosecution, are not imposed by the Department and can be declined by claimants.