ALARMING government data has shown how much debt families in Swindon are being plunged into due to delays in Universal Credit payments. 

New figures released by the North East Child Poverty Commission (NECPC) from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have revealed that out of the 16,800 children living in Universal Credit households in Swindon, an average of 45 per cent (7,500) are on repayment plans.

The repayments can be for anything from energy bills and other debt to a repayment of the universal credit "advance loan" which is taken out by many families to survive the wait for their first payment - and can add up to an average of £74 a month being taken out of their entitlement.

Currently, the wait for the first Universal Credit payment is around five weeks, during which time the Government gives an advance loan to claimants – which is then clawed back with as much as 45 per cent of Universal Credit payments in Swindon being taken back by the government.

The data, shown in the above interactive map and the below searchable table divides Swindon into two Westminster constituencies - North and South - but it shows that things are mostly the same across both areas. 

There are 8,500 children in households claiming Universal Credit in North Swindon

Of those households, 3,800 children are in households with a deduction on their payments, which amounts to 45 per cent.

The total number being deducted from these homes is £136,000, with an average monthly decrease of £74 per home.

This means that 44 per cent of Universal Credit payments to households with children is being deducted.

Things are slightly better in South Swindon, with there being 8,300 children in households claiming universal credit, and 3,700 in households with deductions which is also 45 per cent.

The total taken away from them is £134,000, with the average monthly deduction the same at £74 which makes 44 per cent of payments.

Provisional figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show 20,982 people were using Universal Credit in Swindon as of March – a 4 per cent rise on 20,199 the year before.

This was from 15,537 separate households 

At this time 41 per cent of these residents were employed and working while receiving the extra much-needed help from the government