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

Senior Database Administrator

Essex County Council
£42000 - £49422 per annum
Senior Database AdministratorPermanent, Full TimeUp to £49,422 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Commissioning Officer - Community Catalyst

Essex County Council
Up to £35026 per annum
Senior Commissioning Officer - Community CatalystFixed Term, Full TimeUp to £35,026 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Resource Centre Worker

North Yorkshire County Council
£20,493 - £24,982 per annum, pro rata
We work closely with families and other professionals to ensure that we have sound knowledge of the children we are caring for and are able to... Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Relationship Manager

iChoosr
Competitive
We are looking for an engaging and amiable professional with experience working for, or with, local authorities and an eye for detail. United Kingdom
Recuriter: iChoosr

Adults Service Manager - South

Essex County Council
£58727 - £66963 per annum
Adults Service Manager - SouthFixed Term, Full Time£58,727 - £66,963 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

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