Millions of people on Universal Credit lose £ 230 a month as Tories cut money to pay debts
Half a million claimants lose almost £ 230 a month. Debts include social fund loan repayments, hardship allowances, integration loans as well as overpayments of housing allowances and tax credits.
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Millions of people on universal credit see it slashed by the government to pay off loans and overpayments.
The deductions are in addition to the weekly Covid top-up of £ 20. Half a million claimants lose almost £ 230 a month.
Figures obtained by Shadow Work and Pension secretary Jonathan Reynolds show that in June of last year there was no deduction on UC to pay off debts owed by claimants, but last May there was there were over 1.1 million.
Debts include social fund loan repayments, hardship allowances, integration loans as well as overpayments of housing allowances and tax credits.
Manchester Evening News)
But about 1.57 million – a third of the 4.73 million UA claimants – also face advance deductions as they waited up to six weeks to receive benefits.
Over 500,000 claimants are seeing their benefits reduced by the maximum 25% allowed, which equates to £ 149.50 per month.
With the reduction of £ 20 per week, that means many are losing up to £ 229.50 per month.
Mr Reynolds said: “Putting more pressure on families through deductions is cruel. “
Work and Pensions Minister David Rutley said: “There are processes in place to ensure that deductions are manageable. “
Helen Barnard, from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Fighting Poverty in the UK, said: “The government urgently needs to restore social security to adequate levels. “
A DWP spokesperson said, “We are carefully balancing our duty to the taxpayer with supporting claimants by capping the amount payable on UC allowances – a cap we lowered further in April.
“Applicants can also talk to DWP about their reimbursement rate reduction or temporary suspension based on their financial situation.”