Universal Credit: Financial Resilience

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Heidi Allen Heidi Allen Independent, South Cambridgeshire

I hope the Minister will forgive me, but I was hoping to address my question to the new Secretary of State. I am interested to know what she has learned so far about the five-week wait and the damage it does. People have more debt when they come on to universal credit than they had on legacy benefits, and the advance payment is another debt that must be repaid from a meagre amount of benefit, frozen for three years. When is the Secretary of State going to look into getting rid of the five-week wait so that people get non-repayable money into their pockets more swiftly? They cannot wait for five weeks.