Results 1–20 of 967 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Debbie Abrahams

Pension Equality for Women (14 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: Will the Minister acknowledge that, two days before John Cridland’s report was released, data showed that life expectancy at 60 is actually going down and life expectancy at birth is flat-lining? This is the only developed country where that is happening.

Pension Equality for Women (14 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Grahame Morris) on securing this important debate, and I am absolutely delighted to be able to speak in support of his motion. We have had an excellent and passionate debate with some fantastic contributions, and I would like to thank each and every one of you. On the whole, it has been completely cross-party, recognising the real...

Pension Equality for Women (14 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: There are so many cases like theirs, and I shall touch on a couple of them, if I may. Women born in the 1950s have had their state pension age quietly pushed back, many without receiving any notice. They expected to retire at 60, only to find that they had three or more years to wait. In spite of some appalling stories of the dire circumstances that some of these women are facing, the...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, That she will be graciously pleased to give directions that the five project assessment reviews, carried out into universal credit between 2012 and 2015 by the Government’s Major Projects Authority now known as the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, and any subsequent project assessment reviews carried out into...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: As some of my colleagues are saying, we are asking for the documents now. We are pleased the Government finally acknowledged that their universal credit programme is not fit for purpose, and now we need to understand the extent to which it is not fit for purpose through the publication of these reports. I wish to start by giving some context to today’s debate and then set out why it is...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: Absolutely. My hon. Friend makes such a pertinent point. I was going on to say that demand for emergency food parcels in areas where UC has been rolled out is up 30%. Disabled people, single parents and families with children have been particularly affected. Initially, the Government’s impact assessments said that UC would reduce child poverty by 350,000, but then it was to be by...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: Absolutely. My hon. Friend makes such as a good point. This is what we have been calling for all along. We need to have an in-depth understanding of what the real issues are. We have outlined a number of those, but it is clear that the programme contains deep flaws. If we are serious about resolving these problems—I believe the Secretary of State is genuine in his offer to do...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I do not think that gets away from the ultimate ruling, which was that these things should be published. I understand exactly what the hon. and learned Lady is saying, but at the end of the day the ICO ruled that these PAR reports must be published.

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: The hon. Gentleman makes a fair point. Again, we need to know the extent of the issues. I am sure the information system is one of those concerns. The Information Commissioner described the PARs as giving “a much greater insight than any information already available about the Universal Credit Programme.”

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am going to finish this point. The ICO describes the programme as having “been subject to a number of high-profile failings”. In its judgment, the ICO weighed the public interest carefully and determined that the balance supports disclosure of these five reports, not least because UC could affect up to 11 million people, by the estimation of the ICO, with nearly 7 million...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: But we do not know, do we? I recognise the hon. Lady’s commitment and drive—

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: May I just finish responding to the intervention? We need to understand what is in the reports. I absolutely understand the commitment of the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Heidi Allen) on this issue, but we do not know until we have seen them.

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: Well, where to start with that? First, unless the hon. Gentleman has a crystal ball and has been able to read the reports, I do not think he is in a position to say that they will reveal nothing else. Secondly, on the stats he mentioned, I think there is enough on the record to refute those points.

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: My right hon. Friend hits the nail on the head. We must have greater openness and transparency about this and other Government schemes. For universal credit especially, the effect it is having on people now means that we must do the right thing. As I said, the ruling must be complied with.

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I shall give way in a moment. As the ICO ruled, any failure to publish the reports would result in a High Court judgment.

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am going to carry on making these points, if I may. I understand that, regrettably, the Government have appealed the ruling and are awaiting the outcome of a first tribunal hearing. This is the second time—

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am just going to carry on for moment, if that is all right. This is the second time in two years that I have brought to the House’s attention Information Commissioner rulings concerning the DWP that the Government have tried to thwart. The first time was when the Government refused to publish data on the number of people who had died after being found fit for work. Those data were...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: My hon. Friend makes absolutely the right point. I commend her for her work on the Work and Pensions Committee to expose how important it is to get this right.

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I thoroughly agree with the hon. Gentleman that our seeking the publication of these reports does not detract from the valuable work that jobcentre staff are doing under difficult circumstances. The Information Commissioner’s Office found that “the withheld information would provide valuable insight into the management of the UCP”— universal credit programme—...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am sorry, but I am going to continue. If the Government are so sure that a slow-down will suffice, that they can continue to ignore work incentives, that no changes are necessary before Christmas and that a five-week wait is sufficient, why will they not publish their own workings, as the Information Commissioner has instructed? It is a clear matter of public interest that the Government...


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