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Universal Credit

Volume 656: debated on Monday 18 March 2019

Universal credit is now available in all jobcentres across the country and is helping people into work. The universal credit claimant survey published last year showed that, under universal credit, the likelihood of being in work almost doubles between the point of making a claim and nine months into the claim.

Of the claimants who have been transferred from legacy benefits on to universal credit, what proportion are now receiving more money than they were under legacy benefits, what proportion are receiving the same and what proportion are receiving less money than they were?

The hon. Gentleman is referring to where people have a change in circumstances. That is not anything new under universal credit: changes in circumstances exist within the legacy benefits system. People get a different calculation in terms of the amount of money, and that has not changed under universal credit.

The Minister will know that universal credit uses Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs real-time information to determine the amount of money a claimant will receive each month. Late submissions by employers have led to claimants having reduced or cancelled payments because of money they earned a long time ago. Does the Minister not agree that this issue needs to be looked at if universal credit is to be an effective system that does not increase poverty?

The hon. Lady raises an important point. We make sure, working with our colleagues in Her Majesty’s Treasury, that employers are made aware of the fact that they need to get the right date into the RTI system.