ALMOST half of households with children claiming universal credit in Basingstoke have been hit with repayment plans, figures reveal. 

New figures released from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that out of 7,500 children living in universal credit households in Basingstoke, 3,600 (48 per cent) 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 five-week wait for their first payment - and can add up to an average of £75 a month out of their entitlement.

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The total amount deducted from households with children in Basingstoke was £126,000, with £59,000 deducted for advance repayments from households with children - 47 per cent.

An average monthly amount of £73 was deduced from households with children in Basingstoke.

See our interactive map showing the figures for Basingstoke. 

In total across the South East of England, £8,983,000 was deducted from households with children, with 44 per cent (£3,930,000) deducted for advance repayments overall.

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The areas with the highest amounts deducted from households with children for advance repayments in the South East were South Thanet with 53 per cent, and Hastings and Rye and North Thanet with 52 per cent in each area.

Use the table below to search for results in different areas.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We support millions of people every year making sure they get the benefits they are entitled to as soon as possible and they receive a supportive and compassionate service.

“If payments are needed urgently, New Claims Advances are available under Universal Credit so nobody has to wait five weeks for their money.”