Reply To: Farmers and Universal Credit

Peter Barker

A simple solution would be to make the MIF rely on average earnings in the same way as the conditionality thresholds. This particularly makes sense because the MIF is so closely related to the conditionality thresholds:

“In full time work and not able to look for more work? Oh, well in that case you must be earning 35x NMW a week right?”
“Skint, need a lot of UC? Oh well, in that case you’ll have to sign on and jack in that waste of time business of yours”

The second statement above relies on average monthly earnings, while the first relies on the amount earned in each individual month. A self-employed farmer could satisfy the conditionality threshold by having average profits of >= 35x NMW all year round, and yet perversely have the MIF slapped on for 10 months of the year. DWP want it both ways.