Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the effect of the roll-out of universal credit on trends in the level of referrals to food banks.

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

The Department does not keep official statistics on food bank use, so no such assessment has been completed. Some food aid providers produce statistics on the number of food parcels distributed, but the Government has no plans to require individual food banks to keep records as this would place a significant burden on charitable and voluntary organisations.

We have listened to feedback on how we can improve Universal Credit to support our claimants and acted quickly, making improvements such as extending advances, removing waiting days, and introducing housing benefit run on. These changes are giving support to vulnerable people who need it most, whilst at the same time helping people get into work faster.

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