Workless Households

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 24th February 2016.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East 11:30 am, 24th February 2016

What assessment he has made of trends in the proportion of households in Wales which are workless.

Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

Wales is getting back to work. There are 58,000 fewer workless households in Wales since 2010. Our welfare reforms are benefiting the people of Wales, helping them into jobs that will provide a regular wage for themselves and their families.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

Does my hon. Friend agree that the far-reaching benefit changes and reforms of the welfare state are encouraging people to get back to work and have the dignity of earning a living rather than living a life on benefits?

Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The unemployment rate in Wales has fallen by more than that in any part of the UK over the last quarter. Welfare reform is key to that. We are determined to deliver a low welfare, low tax, high wage economy.

Photo of Christina Rees Christina Rees Labour, Neath

The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned this month that universal credit will tend to weaken the incentive for single parents to be in work. What assessment have the Government made of the effect that rolling out universal credit will have on the number of workless households in Wales?

Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

Welfare reform needs to be taken in its totality. It is about incentivising work but also about increasing wages and lowering taxes. I would hope that the hon. Lady would reflect on the positive nature of welfare reform in turning around communities, families and society.