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We created a National Living Wage, helping millions of people across the country; we launched Universal Credit to simplify an outdated system of welfare; and unemployment is at a record low. We extended free childcare for working parents, and raised the income tax threshold so people keep more of the money they earn.

But in amongst these victories, as a government, and as a nation, we know there is more to be done. 

Universal Credit, for example, can be a force for good. It is a policy which shows government at its best: pragmatic, forward-thinking and unafraid of a challenge, no matter how big.  

But in order to make sure Universal Credit fulfils its potential, we must pay attention to the issues that could make a real difference to people needing its help. Time and time again from discussions with my own constituents in Waveney, I have seen first-hand how the built-in five week delay for a first Universal Credit payment is adversely impacting people’s lives. 

It’s an issue I feel strongly about. That’s why I’ve added my voice in Parliament over the past year to back calls to end the wait altogether. 

It’s clear that some of the most vulnerable people in our society are struggling with the wait and face real challenges in getting by day-to-day. This isn’t right. 

This week, a new report by the Trussell Trust revealed in unprecedented detail the scale and profile of food bank use – and showed how the impact of the five week wait for Universal Credit and the waning value of benefits are acting as key drivers of people turning to charity for that most basic of needs, food. 

The research found that over a quarter of households referred to food banks reported ‘a long wait for Universal Credit’ in the past 12 months. At least 15% of households were still waiting for it at the time of the survey. 

And the research found that increasing the value of working age benefits by as little as £1 a week reduces the numbers going to food banks.

While the report brings into sharp focus the struggles of people on extremely low incomes, it also highlights how food banks and other community organisations provide vitally important support to get people the help they need to get back on their feet. Communities are working together to help people who without that support, would have nowhere else to turn. 

We’ve shown we’re listening – the Government has introduced numerous changes to improve the roll-out of Universal Credit. We are right to adopt a ‘test and learn’ approach, but we must ensure that as lessons arise, we act on them: when the evidence is this clear, we must continue to adapt so that Universal Credit genuinely transforms people’s lives. 

This is why I’m supporting the call by the Trussell Trust and many others to end the five week wait as a first priority, while also restoring benefits to cover the true, and rising, cost of living.

As Conservatives, with our record on employment and commitment to social justice, we can make a real difference to the lives of people up and down the country.

Peter Aldous was the Member of Parliament for Waveney. Views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Bright Blue.