Skip to main content

Work Incentives

Volume 742: debated on Monday 18 December 2023

Universal credit is specifically designed to make work pay, with strong financial incentives such as the 55% earnings taper and work allowances. Working families can also get support with up to 85% of their childcare costs. The maximum amounts have been increased by 47%, up to £950 for one child and £1,630 for two or more children. Additionally, the rise in the national living wage from April means that some 2.7 million workers will be £1,800 better off, on average, as well as benefiting from national insurance cuts.

I thank the Minister for her answer and welcome her back to the Front Bench. Basildon jobcentre recently hosted two health and social care recruitment events, which resulted in the filling of 20 vacancies, helping to reduce local unemployment. Does the Minister agree that work is the best route out of poverty and that it is this Government who are helping more people into work and aligning vacancies with employees?

First, I would just like to take a minute to thank Basildon jobcentre, and indeed all jobcentres, for the work they do, from Chorley to the west country and back to the east. Targeted recruitment fairs are a great way to work with specific sectors that have shortages, including health and social care, construction, manufacturing, and hospitality. My hon. Friend is right that getting more people into work is a top priority for the Department and across Government. We know that it is good for wellbeing, both personally and financially, and those in work are on average £6,000 better off a year.