Universal Credit: Food Banks

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

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I respect the hon. Lady’s knowledge in this area on the Select Committee, but I would say that advances are not loans from a separate fund; they are the claimant’s benefit paid early, which is then recovered over an agreed period. So they are in place to ensure that those in genuine need are able to receive financial support and are not reliant on illegal or high-cost lenders. But if a claimant considers they are facing financial hardship because of the amount that is being deducted from their universal credit award, they can ask the Department to consider reducing their deductions. As of October this year, the maximum deduction goes down from 40% to 30%.