Social Security

Part of Rail Update – in the House of Commons at 6:01 pm on 5th February 2018.

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Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 6:01 pm, 5th February 2018

Significant measures have been taken by the Government to deal with pensions and, in particular, pensioner poverty over the last few years. We have seen that fall from something approaching 46% to around 16% in the last few years. One measure, in particular, that will have benefited many millions of pensioners is raising the personal tax threshold. That has taken millions of people out of the tax system altogether and particularly those, such as pensioners, who are on a fixed income.

I turn to disability benefits. The Government will continue to ensure that carers, those who cannot work and those who have additional needs as a result of disability get the support that they need. We continue to follow the principle in our welfare reforms that more of the money should get to the people who need it most. That results in disability living allowance, attendance allowance, carer’s allowance, incapacity benefit and personal independence payment all rising by 3% in line with prices from April 2018. Disability-related and carer premiums paid with pension credit and working-age benefits will also increase by 3%, as will the employment and support allowance support group component and the limited capability for work and work-related activity element of universal credit.

All in all, the Government will spend an extra £4.2 billion in 2018-19 on uprating benefits and pension rates. With that spending, we are upholding our commitment to the country’s pensioners by maintaining the triple lock on their state pension, helping the poorest pensioners who count on pension credit, and providing support to disabled people and carers. I commend the orders to the House.