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Department for Work and Pensions: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to remove the requirement for explicit consent for enquiries to her Department during the covid-10 outbreak.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

The Universal Credit system is structured around an online personal account which contains all the information relevant to the claim. This includes claimant’s bank account details, savings, capital, medical history, family relationships and address information, which means that we have a responsibility to ensure that a high level of security and protection is in place, and that we take all reasonable steps to protect the position of claimants and their data which includes ensuring that consent is explicitly given to share it.

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