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House of Commons Hansard
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14 February 2019
Volume 654

Universal Credit: Food Insecurity

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We know from a series of academic and stakeholder reports that the rise in food insecurity can, at least in part, be put down not just to the implementation but to the value of social security benefits. The Secretary of State has acknowledged that, I think for the first time, this afternoon. We also know from Library figures that higher than expected inflation means that the benefits freeze will save an extra £1.2 billion in the coming year. Does the Secretary of State agree that those low-income families who are being driven into food poverty deserve a break and that the benefits freeze should stop this year?

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May I just point out to the hon. Gentleman that, by 2020, payments made under universal credit are expected to reach £62 billion, compared with £60 billion under the previous system? [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman raised the issue of the amounts, and I am merely pointing out to him that, with the changes in place, the amounts are larger under universal credit than they would have been under the previous system.

[Official Report, 11 February 2019, Vol. 654, c. 595.]

Letter of correction from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions:

Errors have been identified in the response I gave to the hon. Member for Airdrie and Shotts (Neil Gray).

The correct response should have been:

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May I just point out to the hon. Gentleman that, by 2023-24, payments made under universal credit are expected to reach £64 billion, compared with £62 billion under the previous system? [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman raised the issue of the amounts, and I am merely pointing out to him that, with the changes in place, the amounts are larger under universal credit than they would have been under the previous system.