Universal Credit — [Geraint Davies in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:42 pm on 19th April 2017.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy) 2:42 pm, 19th April 2017

I thank my hon. Friend and neighbour for securing this important debate and for ensuring that it took place today. She knows that I have raised the issue of the increase in housing debt for those on universal credit, and that in Newcastle the proportion of tenants in debt has increased greatly. The Minister said that that increase had not actually occurred; however, I have figures showing that the average debt for non-universal credit tenants in council housing is £300, whereas for universal credit tenants it is £636. Does my hon. Friend agree that that is a huge increase for working and non-working families?