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Universal Credit

Volume 645: debated on Wednesday 18 July 2018

11. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the roll-out of universal credit in Wales. (906445)

Universal credit is already operating in 24 jobcentres across Wales, with a further two scheduled to roll out this month. The number of people receiving universal credit in Wales is over 44,000, and 36% of these are in employment. Wales jobcentres are in the latter part of the roll-out schedule, with full roll-out to be completed by the end of this year.

I thank the Minister for that answer. Early indications show that there are huge problems in implementing universal credit, with the Flintshire citizens advice bureau, for example, receiving 340 new cases—serious cases. What is he doing to make sure that our hard-pressed citizens advice bureaux are not overwhelmed when universal credit is fully implemented?

It is important to recognise that universal credit is a transformational benefits system that is working to get people back into work. The recent employment figures, showing that employment in Wales is up by 5,000, are a significant step, but the issues that the hon. Gentleman raises are exactly why we have been careful. We have made significant changes as we have carefully rolled out the project.