Press release

Universal Credit improves work incentives for young people

New figures show that 2,960 people started claiming Universal Credit in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire areas from April 2013 to the end of October 2013.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

UC logo

New figures show that 2,960 people started claiming Universal Credit (UC) in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire areas from April 2013 to the end of October 2013.

Universal Credit chart showing number of claimants

The figures also show that the majority of claimants were under the age of 25, meaning these young people are benefiting from the improved work incentives of Universal Credit.

Nearly 7 out of 10 claimants receiving the new benefit are aged between 16 and 24.

The government is committed to delivering the best skills for young people as part of the long-term economic plan.

Universal Credit gives greater incentives for young people to move into work because for the first time it gives under-25s in-work support, ensuring they are better off taking a job than remaining on benefits.

Currently single young people under 25 are not generally eligible for in-work support from Working Tax Credit and can face a severe withdrawal of benefits when they go into work.

A single person under 25 working 35 hours a week at the National Minimum Wage could be around £15-£20 a week better off under Universal Credit.

Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud said:

Universal Credit is a modern welfare system that ensures being in work pays, so taking a job is a more attractive option than remaining on benefits. Our commitment to build a stronger and more competitive Britain needs young people in jobs where they can progress.

Alongside our £1 billion Youth Contract, Work Programme and apprenticeships scheme, Universal Credit will help young people get on.

The numbers of people claiming Universal Credit will increase as the progressive roll-out of the new benefit continues. Hammersmith began taking claims to Universal Credit in October, Rugby and Inverness began taking claims in November and Bath, Harrogate and Shotton will begin to take claims this spring.

By the end of next year, Universal Credit will also start to expand to cover more of the north-west.

More information

UC is a vital welfare reform that merges 6 benefits into 1. It will ensure we have a welfare system that means people are always better off in work than on benefits and we are a country that truly backs those who work hard and want to get on.

See the figures showing the number of people who made a claim to Universal Credit from April 2013 to 31 October 2013 in the initial pathfinder areas, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Warrington and Wigan or on DWP Stat-Xplore.

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Published 22 January 2014