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Poverty in Liverpool — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:48 pm on 24th October 2018.

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Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 3:48 pm, 24th October 2018

No, I am sorry; I am running out of time. Severely disabled claimants will benefit from higher rates, ranging from £158 to £326. That is why hon. Members should think carefully about the unintended consequences of seeking political capital by calling for a stop to universal credit. Yes, lobby for improvements, but to stop it would be to deprive some of the most vulnerable people of support.

I am very short of time but I want to touch on food banks. I have met the Trussell Trust and have visited food banks as a constituency MP, a Minister and a councillor, and I have friends who work in food banks. I welcome the work of the football clubs in Liverpool in food collection; I went to see my local football club, Swindon Supermarine FC, which was doing a food bank collection last night. People use food banks for varying reasons, but if they are missing out on formal support, we must do something about that. I made a commitment to the Trussell Trust, with which I want to work closely—I am not precious. It is important that we help those vulnerable people, which could mean having a point of contact in every jobcentre so that if the volunteers spot someone who has been to the food bank first, they can then come to us. My commitment is to do all that we can for vulnerable people.