Armstrong receives confirmation minimum income floor for universal credit claimants will remain suspended

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has received confirmation the minimum income floor for self-employed universal credit claimants will remain suspended until next year.

Following the extension by the UK Government, Ms Armstrong wrote to Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín to enquire about discussions with her counterparts in Westminster regarding extending the suspension here. The minimum income floor suspension was first introduced in March as part of the pandemic response but is due to expire this week. The Minister has now confirmed it will be extended until the end of April.

The floor assumes a level of earnings based on the minimum wage and how many hours you are expected to be available for work. If your earnings are below this, the floor is used to work out your entitlement, rather than your actual earnings.

“I am delighted the Minister has confirmed the extension of the suspension of the minimum income floor until the end of April,” said Ms Armstrong.

“It means self-employed people will continue to receive crucial financial support from universal credit based on current actual earnings, which will provide additional protection for those who have seen a drop in their earnings due to the pandemic.

“People have suffered enough through this pandemic. I hope this move will at least provide some access to financial support for a group of people who have not been able to access financial support through the Department for the Economy packages.”