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Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2013 — Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 13th February 2013.

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Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 10:00 pm, 13th February 2013

Yes, the payment reflects what happened in the previous month, but it gives you what you need for the month that you are going to be spending that money in. I will take this debate outside over a cup of-sorry, over a glass of something; I think vodka is appropriate. I will argue this right the way through, because I think it is the most benign way to ensure that people have the appropriate amount of money for each month.

On the point about the advice sector, we are looking at working closely with the advice sector to look at how the existing infrastructure can be used to support claimants with complex needs, and we are looking at new services that we need to develop to ensure that claimants have access to the right support. I have already talked about the multimillion pound support package from the Cabinet Office and the Big Lottery Fund.

I hope that I can offer some reassurance to the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, on the question of supported exempt accommodation. I pulled this area out from the universal credit because I could see that people often came through these accommodations quite rapidly, and it just was not the appropriate way of doing this. We have left that for the time being but with a view to ensuring that there is a sustainable financial regime for this kind of accommodation.

I have to confess to the noble Baroness that I have heard concerns only recently that some of the kinds of accommodation that we would want to support are not within our definition of support-exempt accommodation. I will look at that when we look at the whole thing, and we will consult on it. It is an important issue that we have right up front.

I do not have numbers on payment exceptions. We do not want to set targets for this, but a useful figure to bear in mind in the private-rented sector is that currently about 25% of private-rental claimants have their landlord paid direct. We are trying to get as many people as possible to pay their own landlords.