Universal Credit now rolled out to 90,000 claimants

The number of people claiming Universal Credit rose by 14,000 in the month to July, official statistics reveal.

Figures published today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that 89,357 people were claiming Universal Credit on 9 July, a rise of 18% compared to 75,427 on 11 June.

Of these, 27,004 (30%) were in work and 62,348 (70%) were unemployed.

The government originally had a target of having 100,000 people claiming the benefit payment in May. However, earlier this year, ministers downgraded this to a “rounded estimate”.

Labour’s acting shadow work and pensions secretary, Stephen Timms, said the reform was rolling out at a “glacial rate”. A total of 7.7m households are expected to eventually be claiming the benefit.

Universal Credit, which combines several benefits into one monthly payment, has been rolled out since 2013. Under the reform, the housing cost element of Universal Credit is paid directly to the tenant instead of the landlord.

However, last month, Inside Housing revealed that around one in three Universal Credit claimants living in housing association properties are having their benefit for housing costs paid directly to their landlord.

Source : Inside Housing Journal

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