Universal Credit: Household Debt

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st May 2018.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood 12:00 am, 21st May 2018

A recent Trussell Trust survey found that 70% of respondents were in debt as a result of the initial universal credit wait and more than half had experienced problems with their housing linked to debts and arrears. Advance payments simply stack up more debt, and food banks in areas where universal credit has been fully rolled out for more than a year have seen an average increase in need of 52%. The Secretary of State has it within her power to make further changes to universal credit to stop this avoidable hardship and distress now. Why will she not do so?