Universal Credit: Harrogate

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have (1) moved, and (2) are in the process of moving, onto Universal Credit as part of the 'Move to Universal Credit' pilot currently taking place in Harrogate.

Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the 'Move to Universal Credit' pilot, currently taking place in Harrogate, and its wider roll out.

Photo of Baroness Stedman-Scott Baroness Stedman-Scott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Move to Universal Credit Pilot was temporarily suspended following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the unprecedented increase in Universal Credit new claims. This has allowed the Department to process in excess of three million new claims during the pandemic, showing that scalability and resilience is inherent in the design of Universal Credit.

It is likely that lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic will have helped with our wider learning about how to support people most effectively and we will take that learning into account when considering our next steps with the Move to Universal Credit Pilot.

In the first phase, we planned to have around 70 cases in the pilot. By the point we temporarily suspended the pilot, the actual number of cases in the pilot was 69.

The Department committed to updating Parliament and stakeholders on progress and were due to provide the first update in Spring 2020, however, due to COVID-19 we have been unable to do so.

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