Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Universal Credit: Helping People into Work

Mike Wood: What assessment the Government have made of the effectiveness of universal credit in helping people into work.


Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

There are many good reasons why universal credit is effective at helping people into work. The most important is that the legacy system disincentivised people from taking up work, often by applying a tax rate of 90% and above, while the taper rate under universal credit is more likely to be 63%, which enables people genuinely to get into work.


Robert Courts Conservative, Witney

Will my right hon. Friend join me in commending the hard work of the Witney jobcentre? Will she also explain how jobcentres like the one in Witney are using new technology to help people into work in the digital age?


Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I thank my hon. Friend for drawing this to my attention. I thank the Witney jobcentre for the work that it does in helping people into work, and I also thank him for his work on this as a Member of Parliament. Of course it is essential that we make advanced digital equipment available to our work coaches to ensure that the service they deliver really is first class, and we will always ensure that they do.


Mike Wood: At the Stourbridge jobcentre, the work coaches are evangelical about how the flexibility of universal credit allows them to better support the most vulnerable and the hardest-to-help claimants. Will the Secretary of State ensure that this best practice is shared around the country so that more people can find sustainable work for the first time?


Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I thank my hon. Friend for drawing my attention to the good work being done by the Stourbridge jobcentre and its work coaches. He really highlights the other true benefit of universal credit, which is the personalised approach. It is no longer about signing on; it is about individuals going to the jobcentres and being offered real, tailored support to help them to deal with their challenges and to get into work. This is a revolutionary system.