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Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL17580, tabled on 3 September 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the report by the Social Metrics Commission Measuring Poverty 2019, published in July, and the appointment of the new Prime Minister on 24 July, what plans they have to revise their strategy for tackling poverty.

Answered on

9 September 2019

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

The Government is committed to delivering a sustainable, long-term solution to poverty through reforming the welfare system so that it works with the tax system and the Labour market to support employment and higher pay. Promoting full-time work through work incentives are a key feature of this approach, reinforced by the National Living Wage and the rising Personal Tax Allowance, which work together to promote independence from benefits.

Universal Credit, which is now reaching over 2 million households, has already shown that it is more effective in getting people into work than the legacy benefits it replaces. Nine months into a UC claim, 40% of claimants are working for an employer in a paid role, compared with only 23% at the start of their claim.

The number of people in employment has increased by over 3.7 million since 2010. Three-quarters of the growth in employment has been in full-time work which substantially reduces the chances of being in poverty.

The Government is working with the Social Metrics Commission, and other experts in the field, to develop new experimental statistics which will help us to find new and better ways to analyse poverty in this country. These will be published in 2020 and, in the long-run, could help us target support more effectively.

Original answer

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.