A SERIES of UK Government adverts supposedly made to dispel “myths” about Universal Credit have been banned by a regulator for misleading the public.

The six ads for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), appeared in the Metro and on the Mail Online and Metro Online websites from May to “set the record straight”.

One ad read: “Myth: Universal Credit makes it harder to pay your rent on time. Fact: Your Jobcentre can give you an advance payment and pay rent directly to landlords.”

They also listed “myths” such as “Universal Credit doesn’t work” and “You have to wait five weeks to get any money on Universal Credit” followed by “facts” reading: “People move into work faster on Universal Credit than they did on the old system,” and “If you need money, your Jobcentre will urgently pay you an advance.”

The charities Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K), which fights poverty, the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Disability Benefits Consortium were among 44 complainants who objected to “misleading” claims that people could move into work faster under Universal Credit and payments could be made sooner than five weeks. They also said it was not made clear that advance payments were a loan and came with conditions.

Z2K chief executive Raji Hunjan said the judgment was “damning”, adding: “The next government must engage with the compelling evidence that points to the harm Universal Credit is causing, leaving many people reliant on food banks and others destitute. Enough is enough.”