Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 21st February 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to her oral contribution of 11 February 2019, Official Report, column 593, on universal credit, what assessment she has made of the effect of the five-week waiting time for payment on increased demand at foodbanks; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Between 2017 and 2018, the number of people making a claim to Universal Credit rose by 132%. Trussell Trust data for the same period shows an increase in the number of foodbank parcels issued to Universal Credit claimants of 90%. So what may be observed is a substitution effect, as legacy claims are replaced by Universal Credit claims, rather than an increase directly attributed to Universal Credit.

Trussell Trust and Department analysts are exploring this issue further with the aim of reaching a shared conclusion about the impact of Universal Credit on foodbank demand.

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