Number of Universal Credit claimants in each Stoke-on-Trent area as benefits capital Bentilee to lose £2m


One area of Stoke-on-Trent is set to be nearly £2 million-a-year worse off once a controversial benefits cut comes into effect next month.

The government has announced that the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit, which was introduced at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be removed next month.

According to the latest government figures, a total of 30,341 people in Stoke-on-Trent were on UC in July – the highest number of claimants since the benefit was introduced and equating to around a fifth of the city’s working age population. More than a third of the claimants in the city are in work.

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But there are big variations between different wards in Stoke-on-Trent, with Bentilee & Ubberley having 1,860 UC claimants, the highest in the city. In stark contrast, Meir Park – one of the most affluent areas of Stoke-on-Trent – has just 155 people on UC.

As the uplift equates to more than £1,000-a-year of income for a claimant, the removal of the increase will effectively mean Bentilee & Ubberley will lose £1.93 million-a-year in household income.

Eight other wards in the city, including Abbey Hulton & Townsend, Birches Head & Central Forest Park and Burslem Central, all have more than 1,000 UC claimants – meaning those areas stand to lose more than £1 million a year.



The error left the couple badly out of pocket before they took DWP to court
Six million people will see their income fall overnight when the Government removes the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift.

Critics of the removal of the uplift have described it as the biggest overnight welfare cut the country has ever seen, and say it will plunge millions into poverty.

But government ministers insist that the increase to UC was always intended to be a temporary measure, and that it is no longer needed now that the economy is starting to recover from the pandemic and lockdowns.



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Last week members of Conservative-run Stoke-on-Trent City Council voted in favour of an amended motion which called on the government to implement a phased reduction of the uplift, to give people time to adapt. The original Labour motion called for the uplift to be made permanent.

Here are how many people are on UC in each ward in Stoke-on-Trent:

  • Abbey Hulton and Townsend – 1,513
  • Baddeley, Milton and Norton – 1,422
  • Bentilee and Ubberley – 1,860
  • Birches Head and Central Forest Park – 1,431
  • Blurton East – 488
  • Blurton West and Newstead – 1,001
  • Boothen and Oak Hill- 831
  • Bradeley and Chell Heath – 658
  • Broadway and Longton East – 440
  • Burslem Central – 1,217
  • Burslem Park – 657
  • Dresden and Florence – 538
  • Eaton Park – 366
  • Etruria and Hanley – 1,409
  • Fenton East – 891
  • Fenton West and Mount Pleasant – 795
  • Ford Green and Smallthorne – 743
  • Goldenhill and Sandyford – 667
  • Great Chell and Packmoor – 937
  • Hanford and Trentham – 405
  • Hanley Park and Shelton – 756
  • Hartshill and Basford – 782
  • Hollybush and Longton West – 579
  • Joiner’s Square – 1,224
  • Lightwood North and Normacot – 626
  • Little Chell and Stanfield – 954
  • Meir Hay – 282
  • Meir North – 971
  • Meir Park – 155
  • Meir South – 905
  • Moorcroft – 930
  • Penkhull and Stoke – 617
  • Sandford Hill – 722
  • Sneyd Green – 542
  • Springfields and Trent Vale – 685
  • Tunstall – 1,091
  • Weston Coyney – 344

UC was introduced in 2013 as a replacement for six ‘legacy’ benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit and Working Tax Credit.

It was intended to be a simpler and more flexible system which would support claimants into employment.

But since its launch it has been plagued with problems and accusations of being too stingy, with claimants having to wait around five weeks for their first payments.

The number of people in Stoke-on-Trent on UC had been rising steadily even before Covid-19, due to new claimants and others being moved from the legacy benefits.

But in March and April 2020 the number shot up by around 10,000 as thousands of people were laid off or furloughed at the start of the pandemic.

In some parts of Stoke-on-Trent, such as Bentilee & Ubberley, the number of people on UC was still rising in July, although other wards had started to see a slight decline.





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