Concern at new rise in number of Universal Credit claimants in Peterborough

Concern has been voiced at a new rise in the number of people claiming Universal Credit across Peterborough.

By Paul Grinnell
Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 12:31 pm
Job Centre Plus.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) SUS-200204-154906001
Job Centre Plus. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) SUS-200204-154906001

New figures show there was a 2.8 per cent surge in the number of claimants in Peterborough last month taking the total to 24,956 people.

That is an increase of 682 claimants in the four weeks to October 8, according to the figures from the Department of Work and Pensions.

While the rate of increase is higher than the 2.2 per cent seen in the previous month it is still a lot lower than at the height of the Covid-19 crisis, which at one point reached 30.5 per cent.

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But the Peterborough rate is higher than the average for the East of England, which stands at 1.6 per cent - 479,467 claimants - and the national average of 1.7 per cent with a UK claimant total of 4,978,508.

A spokesman DWP said: “The upward trend is still a cause for concern but it is a lot less than we saw at the start of the pandemic.”

Universal Credit is paid to people who are on low incomes or who are out of work or unable to work.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “This remains a challenging time for families across the country and today’s figures show the impact the virus is having on our labour market.

“Through our Plan for Jobs we have a relentless focus on protecting, supporting and creating jobs and we continue to help people of all ages into work.

“We’re doubling the number of work coaches across our jobcentres with 4,500 already taking up posts, our £2bn Kickstart scheme is under way with the first recruits starting last week.

“We continue to take the necessary action to save jobs and protect livelihoods as our response to coronavirus evolves, which is why we’ve extended furlough and SEISS.”