To be fair, 76% of people coming on to universal credit had arrears in their housing benefit, according to the report by the National Federation of ALMOs. That is the reality of it. I have given the figures for the extra debt people got into under the previous Labour Government.
Some very interesting speeches were given in the House in 2016, when people understood that we had to get the benefits bill down. This is what was said on the Floor of the House:
“The deficit has to be eliminated. We believe in controlling the cost of social security so that it is fair” on
“the people who are paying for it”—[Official Report,
Vol. 598, c. 1265]— and for those who need it. That did not come from a Conservative Member but from Labour’s acting shadow Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions. We all believe in making a fair benefits system and getting people into work, and that is what universal credit is doing.