William Eichler 19 September 2019

Universal Credit drives food bank use, charity says

Universal Credit drives food bank use, charity says image

A new report from the main provider of food banks has warned that the roll out of Universal Credit has been a major factor behind the increase in food bank use.

The Trussell Trust has found that in areas where UC has been rolled out for at least a year, food banks in it’s network have seen a 30% increase in demand.

In areas with the new system for at least 18 months this jumps to 40%, and increases again to 48% for food banks in areas with UC for at least two years.

Universal Credit is the Government’s welfare reform that rolls six welfare payments into one. It has been criticised because claimants often have to wait five weeks for payments – a delay that can worsen their financial situation.

‘Universal Credit should be there to anchor any of us against the tides of poverty. But the five week wait fatally undermines this principle, pushing people into debt, homelessness and destitution,’ said the trust’s chief executive Emma Revie.

‘In a society that believes in justice and compassion, this isn’t right. But it is something that can be fixed. Universal Credit was designed to have a wait. Now it’s clear that wait is five weeks too long, and we must change that design.’

A spokesperson for the Department for Work & Pensions rejected the Trussell Trust’s conclusions and accused them of using ‘unrepresentative data’.

‘This report uses unrepresentative data to reach an entirely unsubstantiated conclusion. It categorically does not prove that Universal Credit is the reason behind increased food bank usage,’ they said.

‘With UC people can get paid urgently if they need it and we’ve changed the system so people can receive even more money in the first two weeks than under the old system.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Qualified Social Workers within Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council ( ECC) can offer a wide range of opportunities within Adult Social Care for Qualified Social Workers across a variety of teams an England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Building Surveyor

Essex County Council
£38001.0 - £43299.0 per annum
Discover the perfect work/life balance - then combine it with genuine job satisfaction. At Essex County Council, we are proud to support a highly skil England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Care Manager - Preparing for Adulthood Team

City of York Council
£30,500 - £34,797 per annum
We are looking for someone who will... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Control Practitioner - Nights

City of York Council
£21,400 to £23,793 per annum) reduced pro-rata
Be Independent are a City of York council service focused on assisting customers to live independently in their own homes. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Arts Officer Projects and Commissioning

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£29,738 - £36,036 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
Are you looking to join an innovative, dynamic and forward-thinking team? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue