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Employment Trends

Volume 682: debated on Monday 19 October 2020

The latest official statistics show the level of employment at 32.6 million. We recognise that there are difficult times ahead, but our ambitious £30 billion plan for jobs will support people during this next phase of our recovery as we push to build back better and greener. We are working with other Government Departments, external organisations and our local partners to support people into work, to react to changes in local labour markets and to work with our local Jobcentre Plus provision to help communities to thrive.

When one of my constituents, who was working as a cleaner, was recently furloughed, she was recommended to move to universal credit and away from working tax credit. I wrote to the Department on 7 July and again on 7 August. I have just had a reply, on 12 October, telling me that because my constituent earned £666.21 in a month, she was entitled to nothing whatsoever from universal credit. Not only that, but she had to repay the advance loan that she had had at the beginning. This system is failing her, and she is in a desperate situation. When will the Government look at allowing people to return to working tax credit and move away from this unfair system of universal credit?

I thank the hon. Lady for raising what sounds like a concerning situation for that family. We recognise that we are currently in an unusual and challenging economic period, and I am sure that the Minister for welfare delivery, the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester (Will Quince), will have taken note of that particular case. I am sure we will be able to look at that once again, and I thank the hon. Lady for raising the matter.