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Universal Credit and Welfare Changes

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:57 am on 21st June 2018.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 11:57 am, 21st June 2018

I have heard the warnings from the Opposition before. I heard the warnings even about work experience and sector-based work academies—“Oh, we couldn’t do that for our young people.” We did, and youth unemployment dropped by over 43%. I have heard the warnings, and I appreciate that the Opposition do not like the way we do things, but the way we do things provides results—hence 1,000 more people in work every day since 2010.

I do agree with the right hon. Gentleman that my predecessor made significant changes in how we were rolling out this system. We have to make sure that waiting times are reduced as much as possible, but two thirds of those longer waiting times are due to a lack of verification. We need the verification to know whether people are legally entitled to benefit.