Today’s DWP statistics reveal that while the entire nation’s universal credit claimants are outnumbered by Watford FC’s season ticket holders or the Facebook fans of Nigella the Pug. The entire total of Birmingham’s UC claimants, meanwhile, wouldn’t even fill a minibus.
The number of current claimants of UC has finally passed the 10,000 mark, with a total of live 11,070 claims in August 2014 according to the latest DWP statistics.
However, when UC was first introduced in April 2014, the target was for one million claims to be in payment by April 2014. This target was dramatically scaled back in late 2013 to 184,000 claimants by April of this year. Even that more modest target proved to be wildly over-optimistic, however.
The reality is that in the whole of Britain’s second city, Birmingham, there are currently just 10 UC claimants whilst Manchester has double that, at 20 claimants.
The chances of UC ever becoming a benefit paid to millions now seem to be vanishingly small. The only real questions are: who is finally going to put the project out of its misery and how long after the general election will they do it?
The latest UC statistics can be downloaded from this link.