In March 2013 Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange (Leeds GATE) and the IrishTraveller Movement in Britain (ITMB) organised roundtable discussions in Leeds and London to address widespread concerns regarding the introduction of Universal Credit (UC) and its impact on Gypsies and Travellers.
The events were attended by approximately 40 people, including community members and organisations working with Gypsies and Travellers in areas including benefits advice, policy work, social work,
educational support and community development. The roundtables were also attended by DWP Ethnic Minority Strategy and Benefits Service representatives.
This report aims to capture the key issues discussed and how they can be most effectively addressed by Government, local authorities and those working with Gypsies and Travellers.
Whilst both roundtables focused on the implications of UC in the areas of financial and social impact, access and information, discrimination, return to work and self employment, they also emphasised the cumulative effect of wider welfare reforms. The London and Leeds events agreed that all aspects of welfare reform should be considered holistically, placing specific emphasis on the financial and social impacts.