Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey has revealed that 477,000 people have signed up to claim Universal Credit since last Monday, a surge in applications ten times higher than normal. The Resolution Foundation think-tank said the increase “dwarfed” that seen at the height of the financial crisis, adding that the number of applications received in just nine days was greater than successful claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance made in “any month” following the 2008 crash. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the figure represented “dramatic early evidence of the scale of the hit to the economy and people’s living standards,” and would be an “unprecedentedly sharp increase in pressure on the welfare system.” Ms Coffey said despite the surge in applications, the system was holding up, and processing claimants at pace, with more staff being redeployed and recruited to help process claims.