Universal Credit: Managed Migration

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:47 pm on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 6:47 pm, 22nd July 2019

The hon. Lady is determined to demonise what is a very sensible approach to trying to ensure that universal credit delivers what it is intended to deliver. She has given us a catalogue, as always, of the things that she disapproves of, but let me just highlight the things that are relevant, perhaps, to what we are discussing today.

On the one hand the hon. Lady criticises me for, as she puts it, coming out at the last minute and on the other hand she asks why this has not been done before. The hon. Lady cannot have it both ways: we are determined to get on with this, which is why I am here today, and which is why I am sticking to what I said we would do, which is to make sure that we come back to the House before the managed migration pilot begins.

Getting support for this measure is incredibly important, which is why we are proceeding by negative resolution. We are doing that—to answer one of the hon. Lady’s questions—because that was the advice we received from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. The benefit of that, which I hope the hon. Lady will agree with, is that we can begin making the payments as soon as possible. She asked why we have not got on with making the payments; on the basis of what we are doing today, we will be able to get on and start that on Wednesday.

The hon. Lady asks particularly about how we will ensure that nobody actually loses their benefits. As I said in my statement, I am absolutely committed to ensuring that the managed migration is handled in such a way that nobody loses their benefits. The numbers that we are dealing with in Harrogate and the support that we are getting from the jobcentre and, happily, from the Member of Parliament my hon. Friend Andrew Jones, who is present, will make a huge difference to ensuring that every single person has that positive experience.

I know that somebody—hopefully me—will have the opportunity to come back next year and report on the outcome from this managed migration pilot. Getting it right and engaging with stakeholders and making a success of it is going to be absolutely crucial to continuing to build on the success of universal credit.