Universal Credit fiasco as 250,000 new claimants not yet paid

The impact of Covid 19 will be long-lasting on the UK economy, but the short-term effects have led to a record number of people requesting state aid.

As many as 800,000 people applied for universal credit in the first two weeks of the lockdown.

Now MirrorOnline has revealed that more than 250,000 of them did not receive payment on June 4.

About half had not received a prize in the first month because their earnings were deemed too high.

The other half were deemed not to be eligible for universal credit or withdrew their claim.

Labor MPs called the numbers “not good enough”.

DWP chiefs insisted that many of those people instead joined other government support packages, such as the leave arrangement.

Others would be expected to earn too much to qualify because of their severance pay or their last monthly salary.

Ministers added that the 67% of applicants who received payment were in fact higher than the 63% in January and February.

Labor MP Neil Coyle, who obtained the numbers, said they showed that “ministers disappoint people when they need the most help.”

He added, “Universal credit has been failing for seven years, but the government has finally had to admit that it has not helped hundreds of thousands of people at all,” he said.

“Universal Credit is a terrible, inhumane system and a long-overdue reform.”

Welfare Minister Will Quince hit back: “This is yet another weak attempt to denigrate Universal Credit. “

The IPPR think tank said “Universal Credit Austerity Measures” should be lifted urgently after it was predicted that more than a million people could be thrown into poverty by coronavirus in December.

Clare McNeil of the IPPR said: “This analysis shows that hundreds of thousands of families and their children who may have been ‘as good as leading’ before Covid now fall into poverty … The Chancellor must include a package in this summer’s stimulus measures to support families in addition to funding for physical infrastructure and job creation.

“This includes scrapping Universal Credit austerity measures, supporting family and caregiver incomes, and investing in childcare to give parents more options to return to work.”


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