Iain Duncan Smith welcomes nearly £1.5 billion to help the roll-out process of universal credit.

23rd November 2017

Iain Duncan Smith welcomes nearly £1.5 billion to help the roll-out process of universal credit and calls on the Secretary of State to ensure that universal support is rolling out alongside universal credit to make the roll-out a success.

In support of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, may I say that the whole roll-out of universal credit was set up deliberately to allow the Government to respond to any problems and make the necessary changes? I will not rehearse my views about some of the previous Budget discussions, but I congratulate my right hon. Friend on having secured from the Chancellor what is nearly £1.5 billion to help the roll-out process, particularly the transferring of people who are on housing benefit and, of course, the waiting days, which will help enormously by giving flexibility to advisers.

Universal credit is not just about getting people into work. It was deliberately designed to find the people who have the greatest problems and, alongside universal support, to help change their lives. I urge my right hon. Friend to look carefully at universal support to ensure that it is rolling out alongside universal credit to make the roll-out a success. I give my congratulations again to a very good Secretary of State.

First, I thank my right hon. Friend for his kind words and once again acknowledge the tremendous work he did in driving universal credit forward. Its delivery will be a truly great achievement for the Government. On universal support, he is absolutely right. I will give one brief illustration, if I may, Mr Speaker. I recently visited a jobcentre where someone had got in contact and, because of the IT support they received in making a universal credit claim, they were much more confident and competent and had just made their first grocery order online. That might seem a small matter to some of us, but it was helping someone make progress in life, and that is what universal credit and universal support are delivering.

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