New Clause 2 — Childcare

Part of Welfare Reform Bill (Programme) (No. 2) – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 13th June 2011.

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Photo of Sheila Gilmore Sheila Gilmore Labour, Edinburgh East 6:15 pm, 13th June 2011

I shall try to unpick that question. First, it has almost been forgotten—I hope not entirely forgotten—that universal credit will be introduced after £18 billion has been cut from this country’s welfare spending, so many people will already be worse off before universal credit comes into effect. Secondly, we do not know when the transitional protection we keep hearing about will end. Will it end and begin only if somebody gets into work or falls out of work, or will there be other circumstances in which that transitional protection will cease, which would mean that many people would be considerably worse off? The third reason that I have concerns about the assertion that people will be better off under universal credit is to do with all the points raised in our discussion of these amendments. Unless we are clear about issues such as the cost of child care and school meals, and how they will be accounted for under universal credit, we cannot know whether the assumptions made, the figures given and the statements made about people being better off will prove to be true.