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53 Mondays will 'penalise the poorest residents'

Councillors at Lewes District Council are supporting a campaign to address a 'quirk in the UK calendar' that could mean some tenants in social housing will have to pay an extra week's rent over the coming year.

Cllr Robinson

Cllr Robinson
Every five or six years, there are 53 Mondays over the course of the year instead of the usual 52, so anyone paying weekly rent will lose out.  For people on the lowest incomes in social housing, the extra week of rent will also not be covered by Universal Credit, which is calculated on the basis of a 52-week year.

The National Housing Federation estimates that for many residents they will be left short on rent by around £100.

Councillor Christine Robinson, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council and Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, said:

"Unless the government adjusts the Universal Credit payment system, this anomaly is going to penalise the poorest residents in Lewes district.

"It is deeply unjust that a quirk in the UK calendar will see the most vulnerable struggling through the cost of living crisis and on top of those challenges they now have to pay an extra week's rent."

Increased rent arrears would also mean a financial and administrative burden on the council, as well as housing associations.

Councillor Robinson added:

"We have written to local MPs asking them to promote this campaign and bring what pressure they can on the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions to make the change to Universal Credit that is needed."

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