Results 1–20 of 7193 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:David Gauke

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: Today we have seen yet another excellent set of labour market statistics: unemployment is 1 million lower than in 2010 and youth unemployment has gone down by 415,000 over the same period. Underneath those raw statistics lie the work and effort of millions of families across the country who are keen to get on and make the best of their lives: people who are in work but want to earn more,...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: Let me make a little progress. When it comes to universal credit, there is much talk about supporting the principles behind the reform, and I welcome that. Before turning to the issues raised by the hon. Member for Oldham East and Saddleworth (Debbie Abrahams)—and I will be taking plenty of interventions—I think it would be helpful to the House to articulate what those principles...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: Let me finish on the principles, and then I will take plenty of interventions. We inherited a welfare system that puts in place barriers to people fulfilling their potential. If those on jobseeker’s allowance do more than 16 hours of work, they must go through the disruption of stopping their benefit claim only to start another. Many on employment and support allowance can be faced with...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: My argument is that we should not be pausing this. May I just say that I welcome the clear expression of support for the principle of universal credit? That is helpful. The case I will make today is that the principles lead us to a design that is focused on making work pay. It is diminishing the differences between being out of work and being in work, and can make a significant difference.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: I give way to my right hon. Friend—[Interruption.]

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: That astuteness demonstrates why my hon. Friend should become my right hon. Friend sooner rather than later. It is a very revealing point. There is no real attempt to fix this. This is about pausing it and wrecking it.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: Part of the issue is that that is not comparing like with like. The right hon. Gentleman will understand that the selection of people who will be on universal credit will be of a different group than the housing benefit population as a whole. [Hon. Members: “Why?”] The reason is that in many cases, going on universal credit involves a change of circumstances, and that change of...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: I will just make a little bit of progress. Universal credit gives a person a work coach, who provides personalised support, helping them to stay close to the labour market and overcome barriers to work. A universal support package provides people with assistance to build confidence and competence with IT, manage their universal credit account online and access online job search facilities and...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: My hon. and learned Friend is right. We need to build on the progress that has been made in her constituency and, indeed, generally across the country, and further assist people into work.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: I will give way to one of my predecessors as Secretary of State.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. This is yet a further example of the Opposition turning their back on reforms. I listened to the remarks of the shadow Secretary of State—

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: I am just making a point about the speech we just heard from the shadow Secretary of State, who has set her face against any form of conditionality in the benefits system, as far as I can tell. She fails to appreciate that the best way of helping claimants is to get them into work. That sometimes requires a change of behaviour, and a degree of conditionality within the system is required to...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: Let me turn to the important point of claimant commitment.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: I will give way, but not for a moment. Throughout this period, claimants have a flexible, clear and tailored claimant commitment so they fully understand their responsibilities. The commitment supports and encourages them to do everything they can to move into or towards work, or to improve their earnings. The only thing we ask is that claimants meet reasonable and agreed requirements that...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: Let us be clear: if people need support under this system, they do not have to wait for six weeks. [Hon. Members: “They do!”] They do not have to wait for cash in their pocket from the state because they can get an advance, which is normally paid within three days. If someone literally does not have a penny, they can get that money on the day. There is a responsibility on all of...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend makes a good point. Co-operation between housing associations and the Department for Work and Pensions is an important part of improving the service. We are seeing improvements in how that operates and I hope it continues to improve further.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: The advance is typically paid back over six months, so it is essentially a deduction of around 8% from universal credit payments for the first six months. The figure of 40% takes into account all deductions that may conceivably apply in such circumstances.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: I have given way numerous time already, probably a multiple of the number of times the shadow Secretary of State gave way. I do not want the House to miss this point: universal credit represents a generation-changing culture shift in how welfare is delivered and how people are helped, creating a system that allows people to break free from dependency, take control of their lives and move into...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: I will come back to the six-week period. We have to remember that we have inherited an old system, in which complexity and bureaucracy often served to stifle the independence, limit the choices and constrain the outlook of its claimants. The disincentives in the legacy system to work or earn more have been removed, along with the complex hours rules and cliff edges.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

David Gauke: I have to make some progress. Claimants now no longer need to switch between benefits if they move in and out of work, so they are free to take up short-term and part-time work without worrying about being worse off or their claim ending. It is working: our research shows that compared with people in similar circumstances under the previous system, universal credit claimants spend more time...


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