Wednesday 1 April 2020 / 8:54 PM Margaret Greenwood

People applying for Universal Credit need help now, the government should turn advances into non-repayable grants – Margaret Greenwod responds to news 950,000 have applied for Universal Credit in the last two weeks

Responding to news that 950,000 people have applied for Universal Credit in the last two weeks, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“The number of people now trying to claim Universal Credit is truly shocking. The Government must wake up and take action, not leave people waiting days to verify their identity and five weeks to get the support they need.

“Advances are not the answer to the five week wait, they are loans that have to be paid back, and nobody knows how long this crisis will last for.

“People need help now, but neither the Job Retention Scheme nor the Self-employment Income Support Scheme are up and running, and 2 million self-employed people will not be covered at all.

“The Government should turn advances into non-repayable grants to end the five week wait and make sure people get the support they need quickly at a level that genuinely protects them from poverty. They must also urgently revisit both the job retention scheme and the self-employment scheme.”