Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May exchanged blows over universal credit at Prime Minister’s Questions this week.
FactCheck takes a look.
“Half of all council tenants on universal credit are at least a month in arrears on rent”
That’s what Mr Corbyn claimed on Wednesday.
In September, the Observer reported that figures the paper obtained under the Freedom of Information Act “show that half of all council tenants across 105 local authorities who receive the housing element of universal credit – which replaces housing benefit – are at least a month behind on their rent, with 30% two months behind.”
The evidence suggests Mr Corbyn is correct.
“The Institute for Public Policy Research and the Child Poverty Action Group estimate [universal credit] is going to put another 200,000 children into poverty”
Mr Corbyn seems to be quoting an Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Child Poverty Action Group report into the cuts to universal credit since the policy was legislated in 2012.
The 200,000 figure appears to come from the expected effect of limiting benefits under universal credit to two children per family. The report claims that reversing this planned cap will keep 200,000 children from poverty.
The same report claims that if all the cuts to universal credit were reversed (or scrapped before introduction), it would keep up to a million children out of poverty.
Jeremy Corbyn is right that IPPR and Child Poverty Action Group research estimates that new changes to universal credit will put 200,000 more children into poverty.
Although that’s not quite the same as saying that universal credit itself is to blame. The research Mr Corbyn cites suggests it’s the two child cap on universal credit entitlements that’s actually at fault.