But even before the latest changes to the rules around half of claimants were given temporary loans, which were deducted from future payments.
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There are currently 590,000 people on Universal Credit in England and Wales, with around 50,000 new claims made each month.
Critics say that because the first payment is made in arrears, claimants are waiting six weeks or longer to receive their benefits, forcing them to turn to food banks and loan sharks.
At last week's Tory conference Mr Gauke said he would tweak the system to ensure claimants get advance payments quicker.
He insisted the system was being rolled out 'gradually and sensibly'.
But Mr Gauke came under fire from Labour MPs who claimed families could be left destitute and homeless at Christmas as a result of the extension of the system later this year.
Unlike traditional benefits, the credit is paid in arrears, based on your earnings in the previous month.
There is a further week for administration, and another week delay was added by George Osborne when he was chancellor to save money.But there are currently around 590,000 on Universal Credit in England and Wales.Over the next five years, another 12million more are expected to move across to the new scheme.Labour's Frank Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, asked for a guarantee that 'none of our constituents will be faced by hunger, near destitution, for the lack of money over the Christmas period, please?'Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams claimed Universal Credit was causing 'debts, rent arrears and even homelessness up and down the country, with many of the claimants already in work.'Universal Credit is a a radical reform to the benefits system drawn up and instigated by Iain Duncan Smith, which combines six existing benefits onto a single payment.Claims of widespread dissent on the issue on the Tory backbenches were not evident.