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Are disabled people being failed by Universal Credit?

Should Universal Credit move away from its punitive, sanctions-based approach? Does Universal Credit function effectively as an out-of-work benefit for those unable to work? What impact have cuts to Universal Credit's funding had on disabled claimants?

These are among the questions the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be asking two panels of witnesses on Wednesday 13 May 2020. 

These public evidence sessions will have remote participation by witnesses and Committee members. The sessions will be streamed on Parliament TV.

The first session will begin at 3pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Tony Wilson, Institute Director at Institute for Employment Studies
  • Emma Stewart, CEO and Co-Founder at Timewise.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Do the original aims and objectives of Universal Credit fit with the contemporary labour market, particularly for low-paid workers and those in insecure or irregular employment?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of making the benefits system ‘like work'?
  • What barriers do people who struggle to work full-time face under in-work progression?

The second session will begin at 4pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Evan Odell, Researcher at Disability Rights UK
  • James Taylor, Executive Director of Strategy and Social Change at Scope.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Is the work-first approach underlying Universal Credit an appropriate framework for disabled people?
  • What effect has the drive to increase personal independence through the welfare system had on disabled claimants?
  • Is the work capability assessment an appropriate mechanism to determine whether an individual can work or not?

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