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Written Answers — House of Lords: G4S (17 December 2014)

Lord Freud: G4S have not been considered for any aspect of the delivery for Universal Credit. The payments made to G4S in relation to delivery of the Child Maintenance Options Contact Centre service, since the inception of the contract in September 2013 through to 31 October 2014, total 5.707m. The Department does not publish financial information at provider level for Community Work Placements...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Pensions (17 December 2014)

Lord Freud: Estimates of defined contribution wealth in the accumulation phase have been made by DWP using the Wealth and Assets survey (WAS). The analysis excludes individuals with zero DC wealth and includes all adults aged 16 and over. Table 1: Distribution of individuals with wealth in DC pensions not yet in payment, 2010/12 DC Wealth in Accumulation phase % of individuals between 0...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Social Security Benefits (17 December 2014)

Lord Freud: I refer the Noble Baroness to the oral answer given by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Rt.Hon. Iain Duncan Smith, Official Report, 8 December 2014, column 633. He set out how the Department for Work and Pensions will be doing much more to raise awareness of Short Term Benefit Advances (STBAs) as recommended by the All-Party Parliamentary inquiry and others, including the...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Children: Poverty (11 December 2014)

Lord Freud: The Government does not produce forecasts of the number of children living in income poverty as the number of children in poverty is dependent on factors which cannot be reliably predicted, such as the median income. The Government does measure annual child poverty statistics through the National Statistics Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. Estimates of the number and proportion...

Universal Credit — Question (10 December 2014)

Lord Freud: In the OBR’s independent forecast of public spending, it has assumed a modest adjustment to the rollout for universal credit, which it says has a comparatively small impact on forecast expenditure. We maintain our determination to deliver the plan already set out which has been assured by the Major Projects Authority and signed off by the Treasury. The plan is on track. Universal credit...

Universal Credit — Question (10 December 2014)

Lord Freud: Well, my Lords, I will talk about universal credit and what it aims to do for the people who need support from the state system. It directs our funding far more efficiently to people who need that support. It produces economic benefits of 7 billion every year and it does so at an investment cost of 1.8 billion. That investment cost is down from the 2.4 billion that we...

Universal Credit — Question (10 December 2014)

Lord Freud: One of the things that we need to do with universal credit is to make sure that everyone can take part in it. We are creating a system to do that through universal support, where we go into partnership with local authorities to help people, concentrating particularly on financial and digital inclusion. We then pull in all the other third sector companies, such as landlords, Citizens Advice...

Universal Credit — Question (10 December 2014)

Lord Freud: I re-emphasise that the Treasury has signed off the strategic outline business case. This plan is being done in a way that makes sure that we do it safely and securely—not the big bang method. As I said, it is being done more cheaply than originally envisaged. It is vital that we do not do the kind of thing that happened with tax credit when it was opened on one day and was a total...

Universal Credit — Question (10 December 2014)

Lord Freud: My Lords, I have developed an extraordinarily keen appreciation of why politicians do not like to do fundamental reform, but this reform is absolutely essential because the present system is a shambles. It does not encourage people into work or reward them systematically for doing that. The whole point of universal credit is that you join up the out-of-work and the in-work systems so that...

Universal Credit — Question (10 December 2014)

Lord Freud: My Lords, the NAO has recognised the savings to government of going the way that we are going, with a live service showing us how it works and a properly designed digital service coming out behind. The NAO has recognised that the savings to government of that approach are 2 billion.

Universal Credit — Question (10 December 2014)

Lord Freud: G4S has no role in the run-out of universal credit.

Universal Credit — Question (10 December 2014)

Lord Freud: I will give an oral answer, not a written one. The whole system was invented by the previous Government under tax credits where 170 billion was spent.

Written Answers — House of Lords: Social Security Benefits: Fraud (9 December 2014)

Lord Freud: Advertising on buses was targeted in 25 local authority areas at a cost of 219,786.

Written Answers — House of Lords: Children: Poverty (8 December 2014)

Lord Freud: I wrote to the Noble Peer on this issue on 4th December 2014. I have placed a copy of this letter in the library of the House and have also attached it to this response. This Answer included the following attachment: Letter to Lord McAvoy 4th Dec 2014 (Letter to Lord McAvoy 4.12.14.PDF)

Written Answers — House of Lords: Occupational Pensions (8 December 2014)

Lord Freud: The Government’s Command Paper, ‘Better Workplace Pensions: Further measures for savers’, published in March, set out a range of measures including a cap on charges in default fund arrangements, a ban on inappropriate charges and proposals to introduce minimum governance standards and improve transparency across workplace defined contribution schemes. Following this,...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Occupational Pensions (8 December 2014)

Lord Freud: Since 6 April 2003, certain money purchase pension arrangements have been required to provide members with Statutory Money Purchase Illustrations (SMPIs). Legislation requires that statutory illustrations are produced in accordance with guidance prepared by a prescribed body approved by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and by the Department for Social Development in Northern...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Social Security Benefits: EU Nationals (8 December 2014)

Lord Freud: In his speech on 28 November, the Prime Minister announced a number of proposals to restrict EU migrants’ access to welfare benefits. He made clear that the intention of his proposals was to make the immigration system fairer and reduce the current high level of migration from within the EU into the UK.

Written Answers — House of Lords: Travellers (3 December 2014)

Lord Freud: The aim of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholder Group (EMESG) is to offer Ministers and officials advice on the Department’s services and strategy for the employment/self-employment of ethnic minorities and minority groups. The EMSG does not provide advice on vocational training and higher education as these issues fall outside of...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Housing Benefit (Habitual Residence) Amendment Regulations 2014 (2 December 2014)

Lord Freud: The Committee suggests there is a direct link between the policy change and an increase in rough sleeping which we do not agree the evidence supports. The causes of rough sleeping are multiple and difficult to disentangle. The Government wishes to deter EEA migrants from coming to the UK if they do not have a firm offer of or realistic chance of securing work and those who come to the UK to...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Immigration: Poland (2 December 2014)

Lord Freud: DWP has made no such assessment, nor would it be within the remit of the Department to do so.

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