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Results 1–20 of 257 for speaker:24882 section:westminhall

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Esther McVey: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Crausby. This is an incredibly important debate, and I thank the hon. Member for Wigan (Lisa Nandy) for securing it. I begin by putting what I have heard today in context. Every story that has been brought here is important, and it is important that we listen to them, but let us look at the independent figures on inequality, which show us...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Esther McVey: There are also 300,000 fewer children living in relative poverty.

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Esther McVey: I will not give way for a while, because I would like to put these figures on the record. The top 1% of income tax payers will contribute nearly 30% of this year’s income tax bill. We talk about the richest helping most to get us out of the financial situation in which we found ourselves after Labour left office, and that is what is happening. The top 20% of income tax payers are paying...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Esther McVey: I will not give way for the moment. It is also key to know that 1.75 million more people are in work. When my hon. Friend the Member for Esher and Walton (Mr Raab) talked about what sorts of jobs those people are doing, he was right to say that, since the election, three quarters of them are full-time jobs. In fact, in the last year 80% are full-time jobs. What sorts of jobs are they? The...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Esther McVey: We have ensured that the richest are paying the most. We are ensuring that the richest people are now paying more than they ever paid under Labour. The hon. Member for Wigan talked about working for Barnardo’s, and I congratulate her because I am a child of Barnardo’s. When we talk about poverty and how we take people out of poverty, the key building blocks have to be education...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Esther McVey: I never recognise where the hon. Lady gets her figures. I have given the independent facts, which are correct. The only thing I will say is that here is a party that delivered the biggest financial crash in living memory. This is the party that said there would be 1 million more unemployed people now, but we are near to having 2 million more people in employment. [Interruption.] Labour...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Esther McVey: The long-term youth claimant count is down 80% on the year. In fact, youth unemployment across the country has had its biggest fall in living memory. More than 170,000 more young people now have jobs. Those are just the facts. In the north-west region, the number of workless households is down by 41,000 since 2010, which is a decrease of 1.7%. Last week, the local paper in Wigan stated that...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Esther McVey: The numbers I have given are for private enterprise. Equally, I do not know what the answer was when the hon. Lady stood up to explain why there was a 100% increase in the claimant count between 2005 and 2010, but our claimant count has come down. The increase in malnutrition is a debate for another time.

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Esther McVey: I think it is. Many people who have gone to hospital with malnutrition have actually put on weight, which is down to a poor diet. That is a much bigger debate for another time. What we can talk about is what is happening, how we are getting people into work and how worklessness is falling in the constituency of the hon. Member for Wigan. [Interruption.] Obviously she does not want to listen...

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Riordan. I thank the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne Central (Chi Onwurah) for securing the debate, as it allows me to clarify and explain some of the points that have been raised. First off, I want to speak on behalf of the 34,000 jobcentre staff who work in over 740 jobcentres across the country and see about 400,000 people a...

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: I will continue, because I have heard specific quotes today. I have to defend those people, because I believe they work incredibly hard.

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: No, they were specific quotes used by Members about what advisers had said. Those people in the past year alone have helped record numbers of people into work, and work consistently hard every day, to the best of their abilities, so I want to speak on their behalf. I will also say that nobody, whoever they are, should be treated shoddily, badly or rudely—I think those were the words...

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: I am trying to follow the logic. Apparently we were not talking about the staff, but there are people who are treating people shoddily, badly and so on; the hon. Gentleman therefore is talking about people who work in jobcentres—[Interruption.] I would like to finish my sentence.

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: Not at this moment, no. When people have been spoken to or treated like that, the people who have done that will be brought to account. I am saying that it is not acceptable that anybody is spoken to in such a manner, irrespective of who they are. I will defend the right of anybody to be spoken to properly and courteously. That is only right, and it is the way I would expect everybody to...

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: I will give way first to the hon. Lady who secured the debate.

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: As I said, I take full responsibility, because I would not accept anyone speaking to anyone else, irrespective of who they are, in a discourteous way. Obviously, hon. Members would like to know that, actually, claimant satisfaction has increased under this Government. It has increased in the north-east, and at the moment it stands at 81%. That is only right. We constantly monitor how people...

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: Absolutely. If anyone comes forward to point out what has happened, the people involved should be brought to task. I would like to think that these are instances of bad apples, because I do not believe that that reflects the 34,000 people who are doing a sterling job, and who have helped so many people into employment—that is their job. They come into the profession because they want to...

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: On what happened pre-2010, that was so significantly different from what is happening now. There was widespread inconsistency in decision making, with similar cases treated differently in different jobcentres.

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: I will not; I will proceed a little further. We had to ensure that we did not have different approaches and inconsistencies. We had to ensure that everyone was treated the same and fairly across the country. In 2010, 1.4 million people had spent most of the previous decade trapped on out-of-work benefits, so our mission was to renew the incentives to work and to remove barriers in...

Benefit Claimants (North-east) — [Mrs Linda Riordan in the Chair] (7 Jan 2015)

Esther McVey: Part of the picture—perhaps Opposition Members do not want to hear this—is about why welfare has been changing and what has been happening. How many people are sanctioned? We know that, per month for JSA, the figure is between 5% and 6%, and that for ESA the figure is less than 1%. In the past year, the number of people sanctioned actually decreased. The number of adverse...


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