How many people in Northumberland are now on Universal Credit

More than one in 20 people in Northumberland are now receiving personalised Universal Credit support, new figures show.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 10:22 am
Updated Monday, 21st October 2019, 5:09 pm
More people are receiving Universal Credit

The 9,815 people from the county’s working age population of 189,500 – 5.1% – are among 142,000 people in the North East now receiving the controversial new benefit and the latest data reveals that 2.5 million people nationwide are now on Universal Credit – an increase of 5% over the month.

Universal Credit, which is now available in every jobcentre across the UK, aims to simplify the benefit system and replace six previous benefits with a single monthly payment, but has come under fire for the length of time people have to wait before payments come through.

The Government says it continues to make improvements and strengthen the welfare safety net and has announced increased support for parents with their childcare payments, dedicated funding for Armed Forces Champions in jobcentres and tighter measures to reduce fraud.

The Government says Universal Credit is already transforming lives, with those on Universal Credit moving into work significantly faster and staying in work longer than under the old system.

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The release of the latest Universal Credit data comes in the same week that the UK employment rate was recorded at a near-record high rate of 75.9%.

The Government say that, as Universal Credit is available in all UK jobcentres the number of people claiming the benefit will continue to rise naturally.This does not necessarily mean an increase in unemployment for the area.

Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince said: “Universal Credit is a force for good, providing vital support across the length and breadth of the North East and helping people into work.

“Universal Credit provides a vital safety net to millions, preventing families from falling through the cracks.

“We continue to make improvements – in the last month alone we have increased childcare support, announced new funding to help veterans and their families, and brought in new measures to crack down on fraudsters.”

To learn more about Universal Credit, people should visit www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk to find out more if they are eligible and what support is available.