Universal Credit: Food Banks

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 1st July 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Heidi Allen Heidi Allen Independent, South Cambridgeshire

I am afraid to say to the Minister that the advance payment is missing the point. The biggest driver of people going to food banks is the five-week wait. Because of the benefit freeze, the basic amount people have to live on, particularly the very vulnerable, is not enough. We cannot then expect them to live on less by taking away their advance payment, which is a debt. There is a simple way to deal with this. Some 60% of claimants are already taking advance payment, which tells us they cannot wait. The money is already going out of the DWP’s door. Make it a grant. It should not be repayable for the most vulnerable people in society.