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Should the temporary Covid-19 changes to Universal Credit be made permanent?

On Tuesday 5 May 2020 the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be taking evidence on Universal Credit from two panels of witnesses.

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

The first session will begin at 10am. Giving evidence will be:

  • Professor Mike Brewer, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Economist, Resolution Foundation
  • Nicholas Timmins, Senior Fellow, Institute for Government and the King's Fund.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Does Universal Credit just need more money, or a complete redesign?
  • What reforms should the Government make to help the most vulnerable groups?
  • Is Universal Credit flexible enough to cope with dramatic changes in the labour market?
  • Are the capital rules for Universal Credit fair?

The second session will begin at 11am. Giving evidence will be:

  • Michael Royce, Senior Policy and Propositions Manager, Money Advice and Pensions Service
  • Minesh Patel, Principal Policy Manager, Citizens Advice
  • Sharon Wright, Professor of Social Policy, University of Glasgow.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • What challenges do claimants face in accessing the Universal Credit system and maintaining their claims, using digital means?
  • Does the design of Universal Credit entrench debt amongst certain claimants?
  • Has the Department done enough to identify and help vulnerable claimants?
  • Are work coaches able to tailor their support and Claimant Commitments to meet the needs and circumstances of vulnerable claimants?

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