Universal Credit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:40 am on 5th July 2018.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 10:40 am, 5th July 2018

We need to separate two parts of this. One bit is where I came myself to the House to apologise for using the wrong words. I used the words “faster rate” and “speeded up” on the premise that the report had said there was no practical alternative but to continue with universal credit and that there had been a regrettable slowing down. My interpretation of that was incorrect, which is why I came to the House yesterday and apologised for my words. We should separate that from the impact of the changes. I said—and I stand by this—that the impact of the changes could not have been felt because it was still being rolled out and those impacts were still being felt and therefore could not have been taken into account. We need to separate where I used the incorrect words, for which I came to the House to apologise, from the impacts of the changes and therefore the conclusions that can be drawn.