helping charities helping people

Welcome

You are not signed in. What would you like to do?

×

Manage your account

Hello ! You are signed in. What would you like to do?

Your Account
Tools
×
Food Bank - Food Bank
Last updated September 2019

Universal credit drives food bank use

A new report from the main provider of food banks has warned that the roll out of Universal Credit has been a major factor behind the increase in food bank use.

The Trussell Trust has found that in areas where universal credit has been rolled out for at least a year, food banks in its network have seen a 30% increase in demand. In areas with the new system for at least 18 months this jumps to 40%, and increases again to 48% for food banks in areas with Universal Credit for at least two years.

Universal Credit is the Government’s welfare reform that rolls six welfare payments into one. It has been criticised because claimants often have to wait five weeks for payments, a delay that can worsen their financial situation.

‘Universal Credit should be there to anchor any of us against the tides of poverty. But the five week wait fatally undermines this principle, pushing people into debt, homelessness and destitution,’ said the trust’s chief executive Emma Revie.

‘In a society that believes in justice and compassion, this isn’t right. But it is something that can be fixed. Universal Credit was designed to have a wait. Now it’s clear that wait is five weeks too long, and we must change that design.’

A spokesperson for the Department for Work & Pensions rejected the Trussell Trust’s conclusions and accused them of using ‘unrepresentative data’.

Read: LocalGov – Universal Credit drives food bank use, charity says