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Social Exclusion

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 29th November 2011.

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Photo of Michael Dugher Michael Dugher Shadow Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment his Department has made of the effect of his proposals for welfare reform on people experiencing multiple sources of deprivation.

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Full impact assessments on the measures contained within the Welfare Reform Bill have been conducted and kept up to date. These are available at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/welfare-reform/legislation-and-key-documents/welfare-reform-bill-2011/impact-assessments-and-equality/

As set out in the relevant impact assessment, universal credit will reduce the number of individuals in poverty.

Greater simplicity will lead to a substantial increase in the take-up of currently unclaimed benefits, with most of the impact being at the lower end of the income distribution. The changes to entitlement are estimated to increase average weekly net income in the bottom two income deciles by £3 and £4 per week respectively. After accounting for imperfect take-up in the current system and improved take-up under universal credit, the gain for the bottom two deciles increases to £11 and £10 per week respectively. On reasonable assumptions, the combined impact of take-up and entitlements will lift around 900,000 individuals out of poverty, including more than 350,000 children and around 550,000 working-age adults. These poverty impacts exclude the positive impacts of more people moving into work.

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