Food Poverty: Scotland

Part of Delegated Legislation – in the House of Commons at 8:24 pm on 7th May 2019.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 8:24 pm, 7th May 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. I look forward to appearing before the Work and Pensions Committee in due course, and I hope that our relationship will be robust and, no doubt, critically constructive. He raises some good points. I have already set aside time to meet the Scottish National party’s spokesman on these issues, and I also look forward to sitting down with the hon. Gentleman to look at them.

A working-age adult living in a household where every adult is working is about six times less likely to be in relative poverty than one living in a household where nobody works. A child living in a household where every adult is working is about five times less likely to be in relative poverty than a child in a household where nobody works. There is only a 7% chance of a child being in relative poverty if both parents work full time, compared with 66% for two-parent families with only part-time work. That is why we will continue to reform our welfare system, so that it promotes work as the most effective route out of poverty and is fairer to those who receive it and to the taxpayers who pay for it.

Universal credit is, of course, at the heart of these reforms and will help tackle poverty by helping an extra 200,000 people into work. It is a modern benefit with one monthly payment that adjusts to earnings, avoiding the cliff edges associated with the legacy benefits that it replaces. It will also be £2 billion a year more generous than the previous system. A number of Members across the House have raised concerns, and as a Government, we have responded to those concerns by making changes to remove waiting days and make bigger advance payments available. In the last Budget, we announced a £4.5 billion cash boost, which will make a huge difference to the lives of working families and provide extra support for people moving on to universal credit.