To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims in each parliamentary constituency had sums deducted from their claim in the most recent month for which data is available; what the (a) average and (b) total sums deducted in each constituency were; and what proportion of deductions were to repay an advance payment or historic tax credit debt.
21 June 2021
We carefully balance our duty to the taxpayer to recover overpayments with our support for claimants. Safeguards are in place to ensure deductions are manageable. From 12 April 2021, we further reduced the cap on deductions from Universal Credit (UC) awards to 25 per cent and lengthened the payback period from 12 to 24 months meaning in effect someone can receive 25 payments over 24 months, giving them more flexibility over the payments of their UC award. This will also allow claimants to retain more of their award, giving additional financial security.
Customers can contact the Department if they are experiencing financial hardship in order to discuss a reduction in their rate of repayment, depending on financial circumstances.
The information requested is provided in the attached spreadsheet.