Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th November 2021.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact the end of the furlough scheme on the number of people claiming Universal Credit in (a) the UK, (b) Yorkshire and Humber and (c) Kingston upon Hull North.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

No such assessment has been made. The Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme ended on 30 September 2021.

With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for Universal Credit claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; we have also recruited an additional 13,500 work coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job; and introduced Restart which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to Universal Credit claimants who are unemployed for a year. Our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, and continues to do so through many measures, including by spending over £111 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2021/22. This government is continuing to take action to support living standards by increasing the National Living Wage to £9.50 effective from April 1st 2022, as well as reducing the taper rate in Universal Credit from 63% to 55% and increasing the value of work allowances by £500 per year, meaning Universal Credit claimants will be able to keep more of their benefit payments when they increase their earnings.

The latest Universal Credit statistics are available to 9 September 2021 and the next release on 16 November 2021 will provide the statistics to 14 October 2021.

The number of people who are on Universal Credit in Great Britain each month, broken down by Region and Westminster Parliamentary Constituency, are published monthly, and can be found on Stat-Xplore: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk.

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

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