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Is Universal Credit responsible for the increased use of foodbanks?


Does Universal Credit alleviate or exacerbate poverty rates? How have different groups of women been affected by the roll-out of Universal Credit? These are among the questions the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be asking two panels of witnesses on Tuesday 3 March 2020.

The first session will begin at 3.35pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Josephine Tucker, Head of Policy and Research at the Child Poverty Action Group
  • Garry Lemon, Director of Policy, External Affairs and Research at the Trussell Trust
  • Iain Porter, Social Security Policy and Partnerships Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Dr Matthew Sowemimo, Head of Public Affairs and Social Policy at the Salvation Army.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Who has benefitted from Universal Credit? Who has lost out?
  • The Committee has heard evidence that the poorest 10% have lost most from the introduction of Universal Credit. What should the Government have been doing to prevent the poorest being hit hardest?
  • What effect has Universal Credit had on child poverty rates?
  • Has Universal Credit successfully tackled in-work poverty?
  • In what ways does poverty affect people's physical and mental health?

The second session will begin at 4.35pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Marilyn Howard, Honorary Research Association at the University of Bristol Law School and member of the Women's Budget Group
  • Laura Dewar, Policy Officer at Gingerbread
  • Dr Rita Griffiths, Research Fellow at the University of Bath.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Does the design of Universal Credit hinder certain groups of women from entering and/or progressing in the labour market?
  • What effect has this extension of Universal Credit's conditionality to the entire household had on different groups of women?
  • How well does Universal Credit provide help towards childcare costs?
  • Is the single payment system likely to lead to financial abuse?
  • What examples are there of welfare systems from other countries that have provided better social security for women?

These evidence sessions, which are open to the public, will start at 3.35pm on Tuesday 3 March 2020 in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.
 

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