THOUSANDS of people are relying on Universal Credit across the Tendring district, new figures have revealed.

The numbers, released by the Department of Work and Pensions, show 5,619 people are claiming the benefit in Tendring.

The new benefit system has officially been rolled out at all jobcentres across the country now, with the numbers of claimants expected to rise further over the coming months as a result.

Will Quince, Colchester’s MP and minister for welfare delivery, said: “Behind these figures are thousands of people getting tailored employment support to either find a job or increase their hours.

“Universal Credit is a force for good.

“It’s simpler, more flexible and is helping people into work quicker than the old system.

“Crucially, it adjusts to people’s monthly earnings so there are no disincentives to working.”