Results 1–20 of 931 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

European Council: Universal Credit Roll-out (23 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I rise to propose that the House should debate the specific and important matter of universal credit roll-out. May I thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing this important application, which arises, as you know, after a decisive vote on a motion to pause universal credit roll-out. It was supported by this House last week by 299 votes to zero. That was the second such Government defeat on an...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. This is a major defeat for the Government on their flagship social security programme. Conservative Whips and the Prime Minister have spent the day strong-arming Conservative MPs to vote against a pause in the roll-out of universal credit, while the Secretary of State has retreated on various aspects of his universal credit policy in a panicked attempt to...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I beg to move, That this House calls on the Government to pause the roll-out of Universal Credit full service. I am delighted that we have secured this vital debate on universal credit, given the concerns across the country and among Members on both sides of the House. I am aware that some 90 people have put in to speak, so I will take only a few interventions from both sides of the House. I...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: Absolutely, and I will go on to make those points in a moment. Getting back to the principles, we supported those then and we support them now. The Government wanted to pilot the implementation of UC, so they introduced a number of pathfinder areas, including my Oldham constituency, and planned a phased roll-out between 2013 and 2017.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: There may be many and varied reasons why the claimant count is down, not least the system of punitive sanctions the Government also introduced in 2012.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: This is a real test for the Government; if there is a genuine desire to make life better for everybody across the country, UC is a key way in which we can respond. I am so sorry to hear about the issues in Newcastle as a consequence of the introduction of UC.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: This is the reality that people are facing; this is happening in the areas my colleagues have mentioned, and our concern is that, as this is rolled out to 55 areas this month, the situation will get even worse.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I will give way one last time.

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: The hon. Gentleman is pre-empting my speech, but I will happily propose exactly what we would like to do in conjunction with the current Government, whose programme this is. From the start, there were a number of serious design flaws, which the Work and Pensions Committee, of which I was a member, raised in 2012. They included, first, the fact that UC applications would be “digital by...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am sorry but I am not going to give way again, as I must try to press on. Secondly, there were concerns that UC payments would be made monthly, in arrears, and paid only to the main earner of each household, so women, as second earners, are automatically discriminated against in this process; it was also quite a radical change, with rental payments going directly to the household and not...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am not going to give way again, as 90 people have put in to speak. The UC equivalent of the family element in tax credits was also abolished. The Government’s equality analysis showed that women and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities will be most adversely affected by these work allowances cuts. Let us recall what the principles of UC were and then consider that...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am sorry but I am not going to give way again, as I need to make progress, with 90 people having put in to speak. This summer, the Library analysis that I commissioned showed the real-terms impacts on different family structures and for different income groups. It found that a single parent with two children working as a full-time teacher will be about £3,700 a year worse off in...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am sorry, but I will not. Half those in rent arrears under universal credit report that they entered into arrears after they made their claim. What is worse is that many claimants do not even receive support within the Government’s lengthy six-week deadline: one in four are waiting for longer than six weeks and one in 10 are waiting for more than 10 weeks. The Government’s...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I wonder how that intervention will be seen by those people affected by these issues. Some 900,000 working-age adults will be pushed into poverty, while 900,000 children and 800,000 adults will be living in severe poverty. Earlier, I mentioned the design issues that are affecting disabled people. This week, I heard from someone who has lost nearly £80 a week—a week—because of...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am sorry, but I will not. As I have said, I am conscious that 90 people wish to speak. The self-employed are another group who are adversely affected by the Government’s changes to universal credit. We have seen a dramatic increase in self-employed people in recent years: they now make up 15% of the workforce—5 million in total—and account for 80% of the increase in...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I am sorry, but I will not give way. These are relatively straightforward suggestions. I recognise that reinstating the original level of work allowances and reducing taper rates are less so, but if the Government and the Prime Minister are sincere about tackling injustice in this country and making sure that work pays, they must act. Once again, I commit to working with them on this. We...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Universal Credit (9 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: As we have heard, universal credit is causing debt, rent arrears, and even homelessness up and down the country, with many claimants already in work. Given that housing associations are saying that over 80% of rent arrears are down to UC, and that the Mayor of Greater Manchester is predicting that rough sleeping will double as a result of UC roll-out, how many more families does the Minister...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Personal Independence Payments (9 Oct 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: PIP is causing misery for thousands of disabled people. Two disabled people who were in my surgery this Saturday are threatened with destitution because the money that they got as part of their lifetime award under the disability living allowance was stopped following their PIP assessment. The conditions they have had since birth have not and will not change. Why will the Government not...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Point of Order (13 Sep 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Further to the earlier remarks of my right hon. Friend the Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn), I seek your advice on how to elicit a response from the Government on the question of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its report of 31 August. I wrote to the Secretary of State on 5 September, calling on him to come to this...

Pensions (19 Jul 2017)

Debbie Abrahams: I thank the Secretary of State for his statement, and for arranging to let me have sight of it 30 minutes ago. Yesterday, the renowned expert on life expectancy, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, described how a century-long rise in life expectancy was “pretty close to having ground to a halt” since 2010, when this Government began their failing austerity programme. Last week,...


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