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Universal Credit: Work and Pensions Secretary to face Lords Economic Affairs Committee questions

At 3pm on Tuesday 2 June 2020 the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, as part of its inquiry on the economics of Universal Credit, will hear evidence from the Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

The Work and Pensions Secretary will be joined by Neil Couling CBE, Change Director General and Senior Responsible Owner for Universal Credit at the Department for Work and Pensions.
This public evidence session will have remote participation by witnesses and Committee members. Watch live on Parliament TV.
Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Universal Credit was designed in the context of high levels of employment. Now that is changing, how will Universal Credit need to change?
  • Will the DWP include new benchmarks that address concepts such social security, fairness, and dignity for those living on Universal Credit, against which the success of it can be judged?
  • Unemployment is set to rise significantly, what more could be done to improve the financial incentives to work in Universal Credit?
  • Has the Department given any consideration to introducing a bridging grant to cover the five-week wait?
  • The Committee has heard evidence that the single payment poses risks to women experiencing domestic and financial abuse. Has anything been done on how split payments by default could be implemented?
  • Does the conditionality and sanctions regime need to change in the longer-term to reflect a labour market where there might be far fewer job vacancies?
  • What evidence is there that conditionality and sanctions change behaviour and increase rates of employment or hours worked?

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