Luke Graham, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke MP, in the House of Commons if the UK Government can confirm that Scotland’s job centres will proactively offer support needed to those transitioning onto Universal Credit.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Graham said:
“My Right Honourable friend is aware that myself and many other colleagues on these benches have pressed him on the issue of providing support for people during the six weeks assessment, and transition period, for Universal Credit. Can my Right Honourable Friend confirm that job centres in Scotland will proactively offer the advances and support where needed?”
Commenting further on his statement, Mr Graham said:
“I welcome the Secretary of State’s confirmation that Department of Work and Pension guidance will give support to those who need it, those who will struggle without the financial support, and I agree that increasing the eligibility of advance payments is a good step forward.
“Three different studies have been published by the Department of Work and Pensions, all showing Universal Credit outperforming JSA on employment impacts – with people moving into work faster, and staying in work longer. Data also shows that people are 4% more likely to be in work within six months under Universal Credit. This shows the positive effects of Universal Credit.
“Additionally, Universal Credit aims to boost employment by around 25,000, and since 2010 record numbers of people have been in work while unemployment reaches a record low. I believe work should always pay, and Universal Credit aids that – 86% of people on UC are actively looking for more work, as opposed to 38% on JSA.
“I am encouraged by the work of the Department of Work and Pensions, but will continue to push ministers to ensure that my constituents worried about the effects of UC receive the best help and information. What I have seen is a promising start, but there is still a long way to go, and I will continue to push the government to ensure the very best for my constituents.”