More than 2,000 people receiving Universal Credit in High Peak
More than 2,000 people in the High Peak are now receiving bespoke Universal Credit support, new figures have shown.
New data, released this week, shows 2.7 million people across Britain are receiving Universal Credit support – an increase of 5 per cent from the previous month.
Of those, more than 176,000 are from the East Midlands, with 2,304 in the High Peak, according to the latest official figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The publication of the latest figures comes just days after the UK employment rate rose to a new record high of 76.2 per cent.
Universal Credit, which is available in every Job Centre across the UK, ‘simplifies the benefit system and replaces six previous benefits with a single monthly payment’.
With the new system people are moving into work faster and staying in work for longer than they were before, the DWP said. A number of improvements have been made over the last year, the DWP added, including increasing the amount available to claimants as an advance to tide them over until they receive their first payment and increasing the time parents and guardians have to claim back childcare costs.
Minister for welfare delivery, Will Quince, said: “Universal Credit is a force for good and provides a vital safety net for people who are out of work or on low wages across the East Midlands.
“Significant improvements have been made in the past year, such as providing extra support for families reporting childcare costs reducing deductions, and we will continue to work towards improving the service.
“This government believes that finding work is the best route towards prosperity and under Universal Credit more people are better off by moving into work faster and staying there for longer.”
Jackie Thompson, employer and partnership manager, Derby Jobcentre Plus, added: “Unlike the old system, Universal Credit is a flexible benefit that can be tailored to an individual’s needs and circumstances.
“It is helping to transform lives right across the East Midlands ensuring people have more control over their working lives and finances.”
Jabulani tuned his life around ‘thanks to tailored support that he received from Universal Credit’.
He worked for a company for five years but then, after finding himself unemployed, he was supported by his work coach to get an interview and secure a permanent job.
Jabulani said: “You just hear too much of the negatives and not enough of the positives of how it helps.
“I’m really happy that I’m being productive, I do get a real buzz from it.
“If it was the old system I wouldn’t be in employment, I wouldn’t be more confident about things, more confident as a dad and that I can do it.”
As Universal Credit is available in all UK Job Centres the number of people claiming the benefit will continue to rise naturally – this does not necessarily mean an increase in unemployment for the area.