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Universal Credit

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 3702, tabled on 22 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the report by the Resolution Foundation entitled A fraying net, what steps the Government is taking to (a) reform and strengthen the social security safety net for young adults and (b) ensure that parents under the age of 25 do not lose out financially when moving from the previous benefit system to universal credit.

Answered on

28 October 2019

The Government is committed to providing targeted support for young people. We aim to ensure that everyone, no matter what their start in life, is given the very best chance of getting into work. To support this, the Department delivers the Youth Obligation Support Programme, Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools and the recently introduced Mentoring Circles for young people.

Universal Credit is designed to replicate the world of work through the introduction of a range of measures such as monthly assessment periods. Setting a clear benefit rate for claimants under the age of 25 reflects the lower wages that younger workers typically receive. This is intended to maintain the incentive for younger people to find work.

The lower rates for younger claimants who are under the age of 25 years reflects the fact that they are more likely to live in someone else's household and have lower living costs and lower earnings expectations. It also reinforces the stronger work incentives that Universal Credit creates for this age group. Universal Credit also includes separate elements to provide support for housing costs, children and childcare costs and support for disabled people and carers.

Those who naturally migrate to Universal Credit will do so because they will have had a significant change in their circumstances which previously would have led to a new claim to another existing benefit. In these situations, it has always been the case that the assessment of their new benefit will be based on their new circumstances and under the rules of their new benefit without regard to their previous entitlement. As their circumstances will have changed it is not possible to make a meaningful comparison between their previous entitlement to their existing benefit and their new entitlement to Universal Credit.

Named day
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