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Results 1-20 of 231 for in the 'Westminster Hall debates' speaker:Esther McVey

Separated Families Initiative — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (21 October 2014)

Esther McVey: It is a pleasure, Mr Streeter, to serve under your chairmanship. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Pensions could not be here today, but I am happy to respond as best I can, and if I do not have the full information, I will write to hon. Members individually. I thank the hon. Member for Edinburgh East (Sheila Gilmore) for securing this important debate. As a former family lawyer, she...

Separated Families Initiative — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (21 October 2014)

Esther McVey: No, we have to look at what has worked throughout this journey, so that we can use whatever worked with the CSA and on the ground with families. We must go into the process knowing that, without a shadow of doubt, it is complex. This is about families, emotions and relationships that are not working, but what are we trying to do? We all agree that the sad reality is that too many people are...

Separated Families Initiative — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (21 October 2014)

Esther McVey: I have spoken to people who use the site, and I have been on the site myself. There is a lot of information that people can get from it, and there are names and links to the various organisations that they might want to go to. It is not a site where people would do everything at once. They would jot the names down, follow up what they want to, and speak to friends and to other people who...

Separated Families Initiative — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (21 October 2014)

Esther McVey: As I said, I have talked to people I know who have used the site, and I have used it myself. The number of click-throughs is nearly double what has been claimed. Equally, it is a usable site in its current form, and people can get all the information that they want from it, then and there. People might reflect and, later on, type all the information into a Google search, so I do not...

Separated Families Initiative — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (21 October 2014)

Esther McVey: I can tell the hon. Lady that we will provide further details as part of our overall evaluation strategy, which we expect to publish by the end of this year. I was giving details of what was working, what we know is happening and various innovative projects. For example, a Birmingham project run by Malachi recently worked very closely with both the mother and the father of a boy who had been...

Separated Families Initiative — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (21 October 2014)

Esther McVey: As I said, we will provide further information on that, and hon. Members will have that by the end of the year. A point was raised about the 38% drop in applications. Of course we felt that there would be a drop, but not that great. However, as the application fees have been in effect for less than four months, it would be imprudent to draw any meaningful conclusions from the early...

Separated Families Initiative — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (21 October 2014)

Esther McVey: I will come to those points, but I believe that it is important that we put in context what we are doing, who we believe should be sorting out the arrangements and how best we can help these families—the mum and the dad—to put the arrangements in place. That is why we believe that family-based child maintenance arrangements are often the best option, and we want to encourage and...

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Dobbin, and to reply to the hon. Member for Copeland (Mr Reed). I congratulate him on securing the debate. I have listened closely to all that he has said, so I will answer all the points he has raised. It is important to put the situation into context. When the Government came into office, it was clear that the welfare system we...

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: I am putting the situation in context and showing how many of the figures that the hon. Gentleman cited were inaccurate. I am putting into context why and how we are doing things. Today, the most recent employment statistics have been published. The aim of all our benefit changes has been to liberate people and help them to get into work, and today we have seen a record rate of people getting...

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: I will give way to the hon. Gentleman if he will provide some facts rather than fantasy.

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: I was in Cumbria only a week or two ago, discussing those things. I get out regularly and speak to people right across the country, many of whom have told me how they had been abandoned on long-term unemployment, but not any more. Many of them have been on the Work programme and they have now got a job. About 5 million people have been through the Work programme and 300,000 have got sustained...

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: There have always been people in work who find things hard. The figures I read out have significantly reduced under this Government. The process, ideology and thought behind universal credit is to ensure that work pays and that every extra hour worked pays, rather than having cliff edges as we had under the old system with which the hon. Gentleman was happy to live. People did not know...

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: The chap obviously wants to write a press release—he wants to write something that is not true—to put in his local papers. Competence is not an issue. We have introduced some of the biggest ever welfare changes. We know they are working, because the things that the hon. Gentleman and his party talked about, such as double-dip and triple-dip recessions, never happened. They talked...

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: Most people’s motivation is for the best and is to support people—

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: Hang on a second. People produce figures that have not been fully authorised, cleared or passed off. Our figures have to go through the National Audit Office and independent bodies such as the International Labour Organisation because their estimation of what has happened are much more thorough and valid. Estimates based on very small samples may be right, but they can be distorted by the...

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: No, I will not give way at the moment. We have talked about why the spare room subsidy was introduced—

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: The hon. Gentleman wants to call it by another name. I am happy to call it by either name, but in statute it is the removal of the spare room subsidy. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman is smiling, so he obviously realises that his own party introduced it for the private rented sector in 2008. Indeed, his party was going to introduce it for the social rented sector, as we have read in...

Welfare Reform (Cumbria) (16 July 2014)

Esther McVey: I am in order. I have given the employment stats for what is going on in the constituency of the hon. Member for Copeland, and I have spoken clearly about what is happening in his jobcentres. We are now talking clearly about what is going on in his constituency with the spare room subsidy. I am saying why those decisions were taken, because I cannot give a specific answer unless people know...

[Mr David Amess in the Chair] — Jobcentre Plus (10 July 2014)

Esther McVey: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Amess, as everybody has said. I thank the Select Committee on Work and Pensions for its work on the report that we have been discussing. The Government welcome the Committee’s endorsement of the role of Jobcentre Plus in a reformed welfare system. Through the recession and into the period of recovery, it has provided good value for...

[Mr David Amess in the Chair] — Jobcentre Plus (10 July 2014)

Esther McVey: If the hon. Lady had looked at the youth unemployment figures, she would welcome them as much as I have. We have had nine consecutive months of decreasing unemployment, and the figure is now nearly 100,000 lower than at the general election. We have given significant focus and support. We have put in place a youth contract that helps people with work experience—I am delighted that...

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