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Committee urge widening bill on Domestic Abuse

The Home Affairs Committee say national refuge funding, a new stalkers register, and an end to single Universal Credit Payments should be part of new Government Bill on Domestic Abuse. The Report also urges the Government to widen it to be a Violence against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse Bill.

Some of the Government’s welfare reform policies are making it harder for victims to leave or to avoid economic abuse and control. Single household payments under Universal Credit are a "retrograde and backward step". Split payments for couples should be the standard instead.

“Rightly the Government has recognised the serious problem of economic abuse. But Universal Credit is making it much harder for women to maintain financial independence or to leave abusive relationships and the Government’s insistence on a single household payment is a serious retrograde step. Separate family payments to ensure some independent income for the parent at home caring for children have been a feature of the welfare system ever since the introduction of Family Allowance for very good reason, and they are still part of the Scottish system today. If the Government is serious about tackling economic abuse, it needs to urgently rethink."

Source: Home Affairs Committee