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Work and Pensions

Volume 688: debated on Monday 1 February 2021

Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit

The following is an extract from the debate on universal credit and working tax credit on 18 January 2021.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Maintaining the uplift would cost a huge amount of money—somewhere in the region of £6 billion. But it is not just about that. Throughout this pandemic, we have always looked at how best to support the poorest, most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society. Because this is an ever-emerging and changing situation—that is the very nature of a pandemic—we have to keep everything under review. That is why the Secretary of the State, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister do meet regularly to discuss all these issues. I want to make one further point because it was raised by the Chairman of the Select Committee: yes, we will continue the roll-out of universal credit, as we committed in our manifesto, ensuring that those on legacy benefits and working tax credits are moved across by 2022.

[Official Report, 18 January 2021, Vol. 687, c. 644.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the hon. Member for Colchester (Will Quince).

An error has been identified in my response to the debate.

The correct response should have been:

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Maintaining the uplift would cost a huge amount of money—somewhere in the region of £6 billion. But it is not just about that. Throughout this pandemic, we have always looked at how best to support the poorest, most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society. Because this is an ever-emerging and changing situation—that is the very nature of a pandemic—we have to keep everything under review. That is why the Secretary of the State, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister do meet regularly to discuss all these issues. I want to make one further point because it was raised by the Chairman of the Select Committee: yes, we will continue the roll-out of universal credit, as we committed in our manifesto, ensuring that those on legacy benefits and working tax credits are moved across by 2024.