Universal Credit - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:36 pm on 18 April 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Thornhill Baroness Thornhill Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Housing) 2:36, 18 April 2023

I thank the Minister for his Answer. Of course, all increases will be welcome after years of freezes and below-inflation rises. However, the key issue is that universal credit levels today are based simply on the result of historical precedent and subsequent political assessments of what the Government can afford. Does the Minister agree that it is time for an objective, independent assessment based on evidence of real need and actual costs? Does he agree with the Rowntree analysis that the universal credit standard rate falls well below what is needed to afford basic essentials?