Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims in each parliamentary constituency had deductions taken from them by her Department in the most recent month for which that data is available; what the average size of the sums so deducted was in each of those constituencies; what the total sum so deducted from those claims was in each of those constituencies; and what proportion of each of those sums so deducted was used to repay advance payments.
From 3rd April 2020, deductions from Universal Credit for some government debt, such as Tax Credits, benefit overpayments and Social Fund Loans were suspended for 3 months. This was done to ease the financial pressure of debt recovery on benefit claimants and to also allow Debt Management staff to be re-deployed to focus on the unprecedented volume of new claims received during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Universal Credit advance repayments are made gradually over 12 months, and deductions are capped at 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance. This is further to the reduction of the overall maximum level of deductions from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance since October 2019.
From April 2021, the repayment period will be extended from 12 months to 24 months and the deductions cap will be reduced from 30% to 25%.
For those who find themselves in unexpected hardship, advance repayments can be deferred for up to three months in certain cases.
The requested information surrounding deductions to Universal Credit payments by parliamentary constituency is shown in the attached table.
1. Universal Credit and Debt
03/06/2019 - Parliamentary Research
Found: PACK Number CDP-2019-0131, 3 June 2019 Universal Credit and Debt By Steven Kennedy Andrew Mackley
Staff at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) deserve the utmost credit and support for the
Found: contacted us for help with their debts. A significant proportion of StepChange clients do not have enough money
4. Report - Universal Credit: getting to first payment
10/07/2020 - National Audit Office
and Auditor General
Department for Work & Pensions
Universal Credit: getting to
5. Universal Credit deductions (No. 2)
06/01/2021 - Early Day Motions
Found: that sums deducted from Universal Credit to repay debts, overpayments, and advance payments are a main
1. Universal Credit and Debt
05/06/2019 - Westminster Hall
1: House has considered universal credit and debt.Universal credit affects a huge proportion of our population - Speech Link
2: this debate. We have had numerous debates on universal credit, and I have said this before and will say - Speech Link
3: they have on universal credit, but their powerlessness against a system that takes deductions seemingly - Speech Link
2. Oral Answers to Questions
13/11/2017 - Commons Chamber
1: those who were on benefits before claiming universal credit. Our objective is to strike the right balance - Speech Link
2: standard allowance can be used to repay an advanced payment, and that 40% can be deducted to pay back creditors - Speech Link
3: The deduction from subsequent payments that take into account an advance does not apply to the 40%. We - Speech Link
3. Breathing Space Scheme
19/06/2019 - Commons Chamber
1: heart. As a former member of the all-party parliamentary group on hunger and food poverty, I have seen - Speech Link
4. Oral Answers to Questions
18/03/2019 - Commons Chamber
1: her Department has made of the levels of financial support available through (a) universal credit and - Speech Link
2: her Department has made of the levels of financial support available through (a) universal credit and - Speech Link
3: her Department has made of the levels of financial support available through (a) universal credit and - Speech Link
5. Oral Answers to Questions
01/07/2019 - Commons Chamber
1: are now more than 2 million people claiming universal credit, and of those, 34% are in work. We now plan - Speech Link
2: administration costs, directly as a result of universal credit. Despite letters, questions and meetings with - Speech Link
3: we have already increased the additional funds available to councils such as the one to which he refers - Speech Link