Universal Credit: Court of Appeal Judgment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:31 am on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 10:31 am, 25th June 2020

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. I stress that we received the judgment only on Monday and it is a hugely complex issue. That is recognised by the court—it is not a simple fix, as the hon. Gentleman points out. He knows that we are facing unprecedented demand, because he has raised this question with me before. I said that I will keep the House and Stephen Timms, the Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, updated as we progress.

On the hon. Gentleman’s points relating to assessment periods, there are some aspects of the universal credit system that are fundamental to its design and are deliberately designed to achieve its original objectives—to mirror the world of work. This includes the mechanism of a monthly assessment period and, of course, the initial assessment period at the beginning of a claim. It is important to stress that over 75% of people in this country are paid monthly and the majority of countries in the European Union also have systems that operate on a monthly basis.