Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:51 pm on 17th November 2016.

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Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Conservative, North Swindon 12:51 pm, 17th November 2016

We are awash with predictions from experts, as we have been since the middle of the referendum campaign. So-called experts predicted that inflation would spike this week, but we saw it fall. We will see what happens. Good Governments keep a close eye on these things and act accordingly.

We are still some way away from the full roll-out of universal credit, but our aspiration and the difference that this will make for people are significant, because through universal credit people will have a named work coach. The hon. Members for Gateshead (Ian Mearns) and for Glasgow North East (Anne McLaughlin) highlighted some examples of people’s experiences, and we have all encountered difficult cases in which the system has failed. One key advantage of the full roll-out of universal credit is that every claimant will have a personal, named coach who will stay with them. The job of the coach is not only to help people to get into work, but to navigate all the challenges they face when dealing with complex benefits. If the system does not support claimants in the way it should, the coach will help them to address that. People will not have to rely on going to their Member of Parliament, councillors or local citizens advice bureau, and that will make a significant difference.