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DWP refuses to disclose universal credit alternative payment figures

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DWP refuses to disclose universal credit alternative payment figures

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Universal Credit and also in Central Government, Housing

DWP refuses to disclose universal credit alternative payment figures DWP refuses to disclose universal credit alternative payment figures

The Department for Work and Pensions has refused to disclose figures relating to the number of alternative payment arrangements made under universal credit.

Responding to a freedom of information request, which also wanted to know how many people were receiving UC payments more frequently than once a month and the number who were having their rent paid direct to their landlord, the DWP said official statistics would be published "in due course" and wanted to ensure that it was a "properly planned and managed process".

The DWP said: "There are public interest arguments against disclosure of this information at the present time. These arguments include that it is in the public interest to adhere to the existing publication process for official statistics, which includes time for the data to be collated and properly verified.

"It is also in the public interest to ensure that the publication of official information is a properly planned and managed process, to ensure that the data is accurate once placed into the public domain.

"It is also in the public interest to ensure that the information is available to all members of the public at the same time, and premature publication could undermine the principle of making the information available to all at the same time through the official publication process.

"On this occasion, the balance of the public interest test falls in favour of withholding this information. As explained above, statistics on this issue will be published in due course.

"The department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we are able to publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity."

The most recent DWP figures for universal credit show that:

  • Between April 2013 and 28th February 2014, a total of 5,910 people have started on universal credit
  • Gender breakdowns of starters to universal credit show that the majority are males, with a male to female ratio around 7:3
  • The majority of new claims are for unemployed people aged under 25.

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