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 come to the points made by the hon. Lady.

The hon. Member for Oldham East and Saddleworth raised several points. The Government are spending £55 billion a year on benefits to support sick and disabled people. In 2019-20, our spending on main disability benefits is £9 billion higher than in 2010, and main disability benefits are exempt from the benefits freeze. On universal credit, as I have pointed out already, around 1 million disabled households will receive an average of around £100 more a month.

I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Truro and Falmouth, who is no longer in her place, and she will know that we are working with employers through our disability confident scheme, giving them the tools and advice to support staff with a disability or long-term health condition. Over 12,000 employers have now signed up. The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Justin Tomlinson, will pick up her suggestions. I thank her for the work she did when she was in the Department.

Joanna Cherry made an intervention in relation to the Scottish child payment. I understand that the Scottish Government have laid out their plans to introduce an additional £10 a week for eligible children in Scotland, and I should say that we welcome the overall commitment to tackle poverty, but we note the challenge and look forward to understanding the impact of the payment in detail. We will continue to work with the Scottish Government on the impact and introduction of that payment.

Turning to the remarks from Neil Gray, the pensions dashboard is a digital interface that will allow individuals to see their pension savings online in one place to assist with their retirement planning, and I welcome the cross-party collaboration on that. On the pensions Bill, we intend to bring forward legislation when parliamentary time allows.

We are a Government determined to help the most vulnerable, to support them into work, to support them to stay in work, and to support them when they cannot work. We will continue to do that through all the support that the Department offers, and we will continue to assess and adjust that support by listening, learning and improving. I have met and visited several stakeholders, valuing and taking on their expert views, so we are always listening to colleagues, stakeholders and, most importantly, our constituents, whom we are here to serve and support.

Question deferred (Standing Order No. 54).