Back in 2017 we acieved some big changes to Universal Credit-reducing the wait for a first payment from 6 weeks to 5, providing bigger advance payments to more people and paying 2 weeks extra housing support.

This made a big dent in the problems, but did not fix them. Our research shows:

* The wait for initial payment still leaves half of the people we help unable to keep up with bills or rent, or saw them without essentials.

*People we help with debt who claim the new benefit have an average of £2 left each month after essential costs, compared to £12 for people on legacy benefits.

*7 in 10 people we see on Universal Credit who take out advances are getting into arrears on bills or rent

*Deductions in Universal Credit were applied to more than half of all payments in September 2018