Christina Rees Shadow Minister (Justice):
Will the Leader of the House grant a debate in Government time about delays in universal credit payments? Claimants are waiting for at least six weeks, and those who are not paid monthly do not have a month’s salary as a cushion. People in low-paid, part-time or temporary jobs do not have savings to see them through, and are having to use food banks.
David Lidington Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons:
The virtues of universal credit are that it is a simpler system, with more generous childcare provisions, than the system that it is replacing, and that, for the first time, people will be given extra help when they are in work to make progress and increase their earnings. It will ensure that working more always pays more, and that people are always better off in work than on benefits.
Our purpose in introducing universal credit on a gradual basis is to identify and eliminate teething problems such as those described by the hon. Lady at a very early stage, and to put them right. If there are cases in her constituency that she thinks are not being addressed with sufficient speed, I ask her to let me know the details, and I will draw them to the attention of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions immediately.