All-party Parliamentary Group on Hunger and Food Poverty

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 26 January 2015.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2:30, 26 January 2015

My right hon. Friend is correct. The reality is that delays in benefit payments have fallen under this Government. There are now fewer delays. The Opposition say that we need to speed up the payment of benefits. I remind them that under Labour benefits were not paid until two weeks after the claim, so unless they are now saying that benefits should be paid earlier than that, I really have no idea what the Opposition’s policy is on this. We pay benefits as quickly as possible. There is no determination to delay payment.

Jobcentres and benefit offices do their level best to ensure that people get money when they need it, and hardship funds are available if anybody has any difficulty.