Today in Work and Pensions questions I asked the Secretary of State about his plans for the Universal Credit. This is one of the central planks of the welfare reform bill, which I have been heavily involved with. The key thing is that people will always be better off in work. It will see existing out-of-work and in-work entitlements, such as Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, and Housing Benefit paid as a single lump sum. Beginning in 2013, Universal Credit will make sure that the poorest in society are better off and make it easier for people to claim benefits. It will demonstrate the value of being in work and reduce administrative costs and the risk of fraud.
One particular aspect of its introduction, and which needs to be brought better to the public's attention, is how it will reduce poverty.
I asked: Will the Secretary of State tell the House what effect universal credit will have on child poverty and wider forms of poverty?
Iain Duncan Smith: We estimate that universal credit as a static system, not even taking into account any dynamic effect, will lift 900,000 people out of poverty, about 350,000 of whom will be children. It is worth remembering that under the present child care systems that people have spoken about, at least 100,000 people do not get the child care for which they are eligible. Under universal credit, the take-up will be higher, so it will have a better effect.
This will make an important difference to huge numbers of families up and down the country, not least many in Dover and Deal. I think it will help prove that this Government are committed to helping the poorest, most vulnerable in society, and will never leave anyone without support.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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