Amber Rudd says the elevated use of meals banks is partly right down to issues in rolling out common credit score.
The work and pensions secretary mentioned she was “completely clear there have been challenges with the preliminary roll-out” of the profit and that the issue in accessing cash was “one of many causes” of the rise.
However she mentioned the federal government had made adjustments to assist sort out meals insecurity.
Common credit score has been plagued with issues since its inception in 2010.
The month-to-month cost merges six completely different advantages for working age individuals into one and has been topic to a gradual roll-out throughout the UK.
The system was alleged to be up and working by April 2017, however it has confronted quite a few delays and is no longer anticipated to be totally operational till December 2023.
Analysis launched by the Trussell Belief charity this month confirmed using meals banks had elevated by 52% in areas the place common credit score had been in place for a yr or extra – in contrast with 13% in areas the place it had not been.
Talking within the Commons, Ms Rudd mentioned the federal government was “dedicated to a powerful security internet the place individuals want it”.
“It’s completely clear that there have been challenges with the preliminary roll-out of common credit score,” she added. “The principle challenge which led to a rise in meals financial institution use might have been the truth that individuals had issue accessing their cash early sufficient.
“We now have made adjustments to accessing common credit score so that individuals can have advances, so that there’s a legacy run-on after two weeks of housing profit, and we imagine that may assist with meals and safety.”
Pushed once more on the reason for the problem by Labour’s Stephen Timms, Ms Rudd added: “I’ve acknowledged that individuals having issue accessing the cash on time as one of many causes of the expansion in meals banks, however now we have tried to handle that.”
The Division for Work and Pensions has mentioned that, underneath common credit score, persons are transferring into work sooner and staying in work longer.
In accordance with the Decision Basis assume tank, 2.2 million households are anticipated to achieve underneath the system, with a mean improve in revenue of £41 every week.
Nevertheless, 3.2 million households are additionally anticipated to be worse off, with a mean lack of £48 every week.
Labour has referred to as for ministers to halt the roll-out “as a matter of urgency”.