Fall in benefit claims since the roll-out of Universal Credit

Fewer people are now claiming unemployment benefits in Scarborough than before the roll-out of Universal Credit, new figures reveal.

Sunday, 27th October 2019, 9:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 8:20 am
Statistics show 1,680 people in Scarborough claimed out-of-work benefits in August.

Across Great Britain, the number of claimants has fallen, with anti-poverty charity Turn2us warning that the switchover masks a “failing” benefits system.

Department for Work and Pensions statistics show 1,680 people in Scarborough claimed out-of-work benefits in August.

This was up 4% from last year, but still 31% fewer than in 2014, the earliest available data after the introduction of Universal Credit.

Across Yorkshire and The Humber, there were 118,906 claimants in August – representing a 27% fall over the five-year period.

David Samson, welfare benefit specialist at Turn2us, said: “If people aren’t claiming out-of-work benefits because they are receiving high pay in meaningful work, then that is fantastic.

“But if the claimant count is low because the DWP has created a hostile, complex or intimidating environment, then that is troubling.”

Any trends seen in the data, the DWP says, reflect how the economy performs, rather than the switch from one benefits system to another.

Employment minister Mims Davies said: “Unemployment remains at less than 4%, and it’s important to remember that these latest figures should be balanced against the huge jobs growth in recent years, with over 3.6 million more people in work since 2010 and compared to this time last year we have seen a rise of over 280,000 more people in work, the vast majority of whom are women.”