More than 4,000 people in Mansfield receiving Universal Credit
Benefits bosses have hailed the success of Universal Credit in Mansfield and Ashfield.
The Department for Work and Pensions said more than 176,000 people in the East Midlands are now benefitting from bespoke Universal Credit support.
The figures include 4,664 claimants in Ashfield and just one less in Mansfield as well as 3,855 in Newark & Sherwood and 3,177 in Bolsover.
New data shows 2.7 million people across Britain are receiving Universal Credit support – an increase of 5 per cent from the previous month.
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, while unemployment levels remain at 3.8 per cent.
The government claims Universal Credit simplifies the benefit system by replacing six previous benefits with a single monthly payment.
However, it has proved controversial since it was first rolled out in 2013.
As it is paid in arrears, recipients have faced long waits for payment, plunging many into debt.
In June 2018, a scathing report from the National Audit Office said the system was inflicting debt and hardship on thousands of claimants and was unlikely to ever deliver value for money.
However, Will Quince, welfare delivery minister, 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, a JobCentre Plus employer and partnership manager, said: “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.”
For more information about Universal Credit, see understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk