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Universal Credit

Volume 573: debated on Monday 13 January 2014

19. What his most recent estimate is of the number of people who will be claiming universal credit by April 2014. (901012)

Based on caseload projections, we expect more than 6,000 claimants from the pathfinders to be on universal credit in January.

Beyond the pathfinder scheme and in the live running of universal credit, we are also rolling out other components, such as the claimant commitment. Jobcentre Plus advisers have agreed around 120,000 JSA claimant commitments, rising by some 30,000 each week. That continues our progressive approach to date, enabling a safe and successful delivery.

The Secretary of State has made a pig’s ear of the roll-out of universal credit. Does he agree with his colleague, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, who claimed that the mess was all his fault?

Actually my right hon. Friend did not make that claim. If the hon. Gentleman had gone on with the quote, we would hear that he said:

“I’m a very strong supporter of what he is doing…and I’m absolutely confident that”

he is capable of implementing it.