Department for Work and Pensions

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:23 pm on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Huw Merriman Huw Merriman Conservative, Bexhill and Battle 5:23 pm, 26th February 2019

I will not give way, because I am taking quite a lot of time. The reality is that UC is designed to mirror the world of work. In the world of work, 75% of people get paid monthly, and so the benefits system is designed to do that, because everybody on benefits is supposedly able to find work and this system mirrors the world of work. It is the right system to help people.

Another aspect of UC is universal support. It used to be the case that when someone was on benefits they were languishing on benefits, no one cared about them and they did not get the tailored support that UC gives. Now if anyone chooses to go to their jobcentre, as I do regularly, they will find a completely different approach—one where there is compassion and tailor-made support. The work coaches—[Interruption.] It is all well and good Maria Eagle chuntering from the Benches, but if she had spent time with her work coaches, seeing the passion that they have in getting their people into work, she would see that they have more effect in doing that than she has by sitting there chuntering away.

My view is that UC works, and 82% of those on UC believe it works, too. It is all well and good for MPs to knock it for political purposes, but if they wanted their constituents to be helped, they would get behind this system, rather than constantly knocking it for political ends.