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Ministerial Corrections

Volume 557: debated on Thursday 31 January 2013

Ministerial Correction

Thursday 31 January 2013

Work and Pensions

Universal Credit

The following is the answer given by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), to a question from the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Jonathan Reynolds) during Work and Pensions Question Time on 28 January 2013.

The Secretary of State is right to say that my local authority of Tameside is one of the pathfinder areas. Conversations that I have had with officers from that authority and the wider public infrastructure show that there is a lot of concern about the lack of detail and support from the Department of Work and Pensions with regard to the implementation. Given that this is just a few months away and is a cause of serious concern, will the Secretary of State reassure me and people in my local area that the Government are on top of this and that implementation will take place as planned?

It will—I can give the hon. Gentleman that reassurance. We are discussing this at every level with the local authorities concerned. The process will start at a jobcentre in each of the areas I have mentioned on 29 April, and that will start bringing in childless couples to claim universal credit, rather than jobseeker’s allowance. Over that period, once people are captured into the universal credit system, they will not go back on to jobseeker’s allowance, so a lot of tax-credit people who fall unemployed will move on to universal credit. We are in deep discussions with the regions.

[Official Report, 28 January 2013, Vol. 557, c. 656.]

Letter of correction from Iain Duncan Smith:

An error has been identified in the answer given to the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Jonathan Reynolds).

The correct answer should have been:

It will—I can give the hon. Gentleman that reassurance. We are discussing this at every level with the local authorities concerned. The process will start at a jobcentre in each of the areas I have mentioned on 29 April, and that will start bringing in childless single people to claim universal credit, rather than jobseeker’s allowance. Over that period, once people are captured into the universal credit system, they will not go back on to jobseeker’s allowance, so a lot of tax-credit people who fall unemployed will move on to universal credit. We are in deep discussions with the regions.