17 DEC 2018
Thank you for taking the time to email me about Universal Credit (UC) and poverty in the UK.
I understand your concern on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Department of Work and Pensions is reassuring:
The best route out of poverty is work, which is being supported through welfare reform. Over 3.3 million jobs have been created in the UK since 2010, of which three quarters are permanent, full time and in higher level occupations. There are now 637,000 fewer children growing up in workless households since 2010, a record low. With this Government's changes, household incomes have never been higher, income inequality has fallen, and there are now one million fewer people living in absolute poverty compared with 2010.
The UK is spending £54 billion this year on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions, a record high and up more than £7 billion since 2010. Disabled people should have every opportunity to thrive in the workplace, and it is really encouraging that 973,000 more disabled people have entered work in the last five years.
Universal Credit (UC) is supporting people into work faster, but the Government is listening to feedback and has made numerous improvements to the system. This includes ensuring 2.4 million households will be up to £630 better off a year as a result of raising the work allowance, and providing 1.1 million claimants on income-Jobseekers' Allowance, income-Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support Housing Benefit claimants with an additional payment providing a fortnight's worth of support during their transition to UC.
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