At Prime Minister's Questions Theresa May defended the roll out of Universal Credit by saying that the new benefit gets more people into work. Since July the Government has used the phrase, "with Universal Credit people are moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system", time and time again.
While it is true, as with many DWP statements, it is seriously misleading without the proper context.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has compared the progress of people in the early Universal Credit trials with similar people who received Job Seekers Allowance. Using this comparison, those on Universal Credit (UC) did indeed do better, but with two enormous caveats:
1. DWP's claims are true for 1 in 10 Universal Credit Claimants at best
2. Universal Credit trials were very different to today's Universal Credit system
To read the fuller version of Paul's article for the Joint Public Issues Team of four churches, including The Methodist Church, click here.