Universal Credit claims up 99 percent in lockdown

Universal credit claimants in Rotherham increased by 65 per cent in April and a further 15 per cent in May, a report has found

Friday, 16th October 2020, 12:30 pm

A report to Rotherham Council into the borough's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic found that in February, 5,940 residents in the borough claimed Universal Credit, which jumped to 11, 855 by May - an increase of 99 per cent.

The council paid local businesses a total of £46m in government support grants, including £2,479,000 available as a local discretionary scheme - £2,467,837 of which was paid out.

The increase in claimants as a proportion of residents aged 16-64 is "broadlyin line, though slightly higher", than the regional and national trend.

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Are you in receipt of Universal Credit? Picture: PA.

The report, to be heard by the council's improving places select commission on October 20 states: "The economic impact of the Covid pandemic is severe and is likely to persist for some time.

"Although the government has introduced a wide range of measures to support the economy it seems likely that the full impact of business failures and redundancies has not yet been felt.

Follwoing further lockdown measures being imposed on South Yorkshire this week, council leader councillor Chris Read said on October 12: "Together with council leaders from across South Yorkshire and our City Region Mayor, we are lobbying the government hard for the economic support that we need.

"It can't be right that if a business has to close because of restrictions, that closure is permanent. Those businesses and the people who work for them need financial support to see them through this tough time until their businesses can open again.

“The cost of not providing that support will be much greater in the long term. So we're asking the government for additional resources for our local public services to support our businesses and workforce."