Number of people on universal credit hits all-time high in Burnley
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The figures come as a think tank calls for social security to be pegged to the cost of living.
Universal credit is a benefit available to those out of work, disabled or below a threshold of earnings and savings.
Combined with a winding-up of older benefits and reduced employment opportunities, the number of people using universal credit across England rose dramatically over the pandemic – and has remained high since.
This was also a 7% rise on 12,213 in March 2022.
Sam Tims, economist at the New Economics Foundation think tank, said "inadequate levels of support" combined with low pay and insecure work was forcing people receiving benefits into difficult decisions.
In March, 36% of universal credit recipients in the area were employed.
Mr Tims urged for benefits to be benchmarked to the cost of living, to help those struggling with the current crisis.
Across England and Wales, the number of households with a member on universal credit reached a record peak in February, at nearly 4.5 million across England and Wales.
This included Burnley, where 10,069 households were receiving the benefit.
Anna Stevenson, benefits expert at anti-poverty charity Turn2Us, said "far too many households" are still struggling financially.
She continued: "The Government needs to make sure support is there when people need it, and that it’s the right support to get through this crisis.”