Department for Work and Pensions

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 2nd July 2019.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 4:15 pm, 2nd July 2019

I will turn now to some of the points made in the debate. The hon. Member for Wirral South talked about the WASPI women. This Government have introduced transitional arrangements costing £1.1 billion. This concession reduced the proposed increase in the state pension age for more than 450,000 men and women, and it means that no woman will see her pension age change by more than 18 months relative to the 1995 Pensions Act timetable. As numerous hon. Members have pointed out, if we were to reverse the state pension changes made under the previous Pensions Act, it would cost more than £200 billion up to 2025-26.

Moving on, the two-child policy ensures that parents in receipt of benefits face the same financial choices when deciding to grow their families. As announced in January, we will no longer be extending the policy for new claims for children born before April 2017. Turning to the benefit freeze, I have already made it clear that we will end the freeze in 2020. As for universal credit, the principle is to have a simpler system, with six benefits rolled into one. When it comes to supporting children, I play a role in the early years ministerial group, which was chaired by the former Leader of the House, my right hon. Friend Andrea Leadsom. That group is looking at numerous options around cross-departmental work on supporting children.