Department for Work and Pensions

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. As the UK’s biggest public service department it administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits to around 20 million claimants and customers.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Liberal Democrat
Wendy Chamberlain (LDEM - North East Fife)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Labour
Jonathan Reynolds (LAB - Stalybridge and Hyde)
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Baroness Sherlock (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Janke (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (PC - Arfon)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Democratic Unionist Party
Sammy Wilson (DUP - East Antrim)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

Scottish National Party
David Linden (SNP - Glasgow East)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Matt Rodda (LAB - Reading East)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions)
Vicky Foxcroft (LAB - Lewisham, Deptford)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
Karen Buck (LAB - Westminster North)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
Ministers of State
Chloe Smith (CON - Norwich North)
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Mims Davies (CON - Mid Sussex)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
Guy Opperman (CON - Hexham)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
Baroness Stedman-Scott (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
David Rutley (CON - Macclesfield)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
09:15
Work and Pensions Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
22 Sep 2021, 9:15 a.m.
Protecting pension savers – five years on from the Pension Freedoms: Accessing pension savings
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Debates
Monday 20th September 2021
Select Committee Docs
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
00:00
Select Committee Inquiry
Thursday 29th April 2021
Pension stewardship and COP26

Pension stewardship and COP26

The UK will host the 26 UN Climate Council Conference of Parties COP26 in Glasgow between …

Written Answers
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Kickstart Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart Scheme jobs have been (a) approved and …
Secondary Legislation
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Social Security Benefits (Claims and Payments) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
Regulations 2 and 3 of these Regulations amend, respectively, the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987 (S.I. 1987/1968) and …
Bills
Wednesday 8th September 2021
Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision relating to the up-rating of certain social security benefits payable in the tax year 2022-23.
Dept. Publications
Tuesday 21st September 2021
11:42

Department for Work and Pensions Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Sep. 13
Oral Questions
Sep. 20
Written Statements
Jul. 21
Westminster Hall
Apr. 19
Adjournment Debate
View All Department for Work and Pensions Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Department for Work and Pensions does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament


A Bill to make provision about pension schemes

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 11th February 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 23rd September 2020

A Bill To make provision relating to the up-rating of certain social security benefits.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 23rd November 2020 and was enacted into law.

Department for Work and Pensions - Secondary Legislation

Regulations 2 and 3 of these Regulations amend, respectively, the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987 (S.I. 1987/1968) and the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013 (S.I. 2013/380) to allow the Secretary of State to pay benefit arrears in instalments where the Secretary of State considers it to be in the interest of the person entitled to the benefit and that person agrees, or as the case may be, those persons agree, to payment of the arrears in that manner.
Part 2 of these Regulations enables certain persons to access income-related benefits upon arrival in Great Britain from Afghanistan, provided they meet the other relevant entitlement conditions.
View All Department for Work and Pensions Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

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Petition Debates Contributed

The government should implement an immediate Universal Basic Income trial for all UK residents to ensure home and food security through the coronavirus Covid-19 crisis, to support the needs of those that need to self-isolate as well as the public health at large, and the wider economy.

View All Department for Work and Pensions Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Work and Pensions Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Work and Pensions Committee
Stephen Timms Portrait
Stephen Timms (Labour - East Ham)
Work and Pensions Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Desmond Swayne Portrait
Desmond Swayne (Conservative - New Forest West)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Chris Stephens Portrait
Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ben Spencer Portrait
Ben Spencer (Conservative - Runnymede and Weybridge)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Selaine Saxby Portrait
Selaine Saxby (Conservative - North Devon)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Nigel Mills Portrait
Nigel Mills (Conservative - Amber Valley)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Steve McCabe Portrait
Steve McCabe (Labour - Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Neil Coyle Portrait
Neil Coyle (Labour - Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Siobhan Baillie Portrait
Siobhan Baillie (Conservative - Stroud)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Shaun Bailey Portrait
Shaun Bailey (Conservative - West Bromwich West)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Debbie Abrahams Portrait
Debbie Abrahams (Labour - Oldham East and Saddleworth)
Work and Pensions Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Work and Pensions Committee: Upcoming Events
Work and Pensions Committee - Oral evidence
Protecting pension savers – five years on from the Pension Freedoms: Accessing pension savings
22 Sep 2021, 9:15 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
David Fairs - Executive Director at The Pensions Regulator
Sarah Pritchard - Executive Director – Markets at The Financial Conduct Authority
At 10.30am: Oral evidence
Alex Connolly - Chief Operating Officer at Money and Pensions Service
Carolyn Jones - Head of Money and Pensions Guidance Policy and Strategy at Money and Pensions Service
Chris Curry - Pension Dashboard Programme Team at Money and Pensions Service

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50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the 280,000 jobs approved for funding by the Kickstart Scheme as of 31 August 2021 were based in Scotland.

As of 31st August, there were 280,000 jobs approved for funding by the Kickstart Scheme, of which over 17,000 of these were from applications that listed the employer address as based in Scotland. This equates to 6% of the total approved jobs.

It is worth noting, we do not hold information on the location of a job at the application approval stage as this information is only confirmed once a job is available to apply for. We do however, hold information on the locations listed on original employer application form though these are not necessarily where the Kickstart job will be based and in many cases represent the head office of a particular employer and not the location the Kickstarter will be working.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart Scheme jobs have been (a) approved and (b) started in each region across the UK from 14 July 2021 to the date.

Please refer to the table below for a regional breakdown of the number of Kickstart vacancies and starts since 14 July 2021 until 8 September 2021*.

*Vacancies have been rounded to the nearest 100 and Starts to nearest 10

Region

Jobs Approved since 14.7.21*

Job Starts since 14.7.21*

East Midlands

1,870

1,390

East of England

2,900

1,570

London

8,500

4,780

North East

1,600

960

North West

4,100

2,900

Scotland

2,800

2,030

South East

4,000

2,380

South West

2,600

1,480

Wales

1,900

940

West Midlands

2,800

2,010

Yorkshire and The Humber

2,900

1,770

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to update the list of Departmental Ministerial Disability Champions as announced in the National Disability Strategy after the Government reshuffle on 15 September 2021.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Trussell Trust’s publication, Keep The Lifeline: The Trussell Trust briefing on the £20 cut to Universal Credit published by the Trussell Trust on the 8th September 2021, what steps she plans to take to ensure that people in receipt of universal credit can meet their basic needs when the £20 uplift to the standard allowance of universal credit is removed.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes through a range of measures, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending over £111 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2021/22.

The Chancellor announced a temporary six-month extension to the £20 per week uplift at the Budget on 3 March to support households affected by the economic shock of Covid-19. Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and the temporary uplift was part of a COVID support package worth a total of £407 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced. With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for Universal Credit claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; Restart, which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to Universal Credit claimants who are unemployed for a year; and JETS, which provides light touch employment support for people who are claiming either Universal Credit or New Style Jobseekers Allowance, for up to 6 months, helping participants effectively re-engage with the labour market and focus their job search. We have also recruited an additional 13,500 work coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job. In total, our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people.

In April this year, we increased the value of Healthy Start Food Vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25, helping eligible low income households buy basic foods like milk, fruit and vitamins. We are investing up to £220m in the Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has been expanded to every Local Authority across England. Participating children are benefitting from a range of support, including healthy and nutritious meals as well as fun and engaging activities covering the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate her Department has made of the average waiting time to process personal independence payment applications in (a) Scotland and (b) the Highlands.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact that the re-introduction of conditionality requirements has had on the mental health of benefit claimants.

The Departmental guidance is continually reviewed and updated to ensure it reflects the changes to public health guidelines and easements due to Covid-19.

We believe it is important to ensure claimants have the support they need to move closer to and into employment if and when they are able. As such, for claimants who are expected to look for work, any work-related requirements are set in discussion with them and will always be tailored to their individual capability and circumstances, making them realistic and achievable.

We ensure that our more vulnerable claimants are further protected by exempting those with more serious medical conditions including mental health conditions and disabilities from any form of conditionality.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much and what proportion of the £2 billion funding allocated to the Kickstart scheme has been spent on that scheme as of 14 September 2021.

Information relating to Kickstart grants will be published by the Cabinet Office on the Government website in due course, as is standard practice for all Government general grants. This information is normally published about a year after the financial year end and includes grant value and recipients.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the 69,000 young people who had started jobs under the Kickstart Scheme as of July 2021 were based in Scotland.

Of the 50,000 jobs that had been started as of 21 July, 4,400 have been started in Scotland as of 21 July, representing approximately 9% of the total job starts across Great Britain at the time.

By 8 September, 69,000 jobs had been started overall with 6,140 jobs starting in Scotland, representing approximately 9% of the total job starts across Great Britain.


Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many young people have started Kickstart placements in each Parliamentary constituency.

We are currently not able to publish a breakdown below the regional and national level although expect to be able to do so in due course, to do so now would be at a disproportionate cost due to the amount of data that would need to be collated and quality assured.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the 188,000 jobs made available under the Kickstart Scheme as of July 2021 were based in Scotland.

Of the 155,000 jobs that had been made available as of 21 July, 11,200 had been made available in Scotland representing approximately 7% of the total jobs made available across Great Britain at the time.

By 8 September, 188,000 jobs had been made available overall with 13,800 jobs made available in Scotland, representing approximately 7% of the total job made available across Great Britain.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment has she made of the effectiveness of the Kickstart scheme with 69,000 young people having started jobs under that scheme as of 31 July 2021.

The Department for Work and Pensions will be monitoring and evaluating the Kickstart scheme throughout and after its implementation, and will continue to evaluate the longer term outcomes for participants after they have completed their Kickstart job.

The evaluation will include large scale surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants and of employers and gateway organisations. The evaluation will consider how experiences and outcomes from the scheme vary and examine how participants’ and employers’ characteristics, local context and approaches to delivery effect experiences. Qualitative case-studies will provide a detailed understanding of how different aspects of the scheme interact and we will draw on available data and insights.

We will publish the findings of the evaluation once complete.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to publish an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Kickstart scheme when its funding ends in June 2022.

The Department for Work and Pensions will be monitoring and evaluating the Kickstart scheme throughout and after its implementation, and will continue to evaluate the longer term outcomes for participants after they have completed their Kickstart job.

The evaluation will include large scale surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants and of employers and gateway organisations. The evaluation will consider how experiences and outcomes from the scheme vary and examine how participants’ and employers’ characteristics, local context and approaches to delivery effect experiences. Qualitative case-studies will provide a detailed understanding of how different aspects of the scheme interact and we will draw on available data and insights.

We will publish the findings of the evaluation once complete.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to take the Consumer Price Index into account when calculating the state pension for 2022–23.

The Government has introduced the Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill which will enable State Pensions (the basic State Pension, the new State Pension and Pension Credit) to be uprated for 2022/23 only by at least the higher of the increase in prices or 2.5%.

Decisions on up-rating for all pensions and benefit rates are made in the Autumn as part of the up-rating review by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and announced ahead of the up-rating of benefits in April 2022. The conventional measure of price increases used for up-rating is September to September Consumer Price Index, this is released in October.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of rising wages on the feasibility of re-introducing the "triple lock" on pensions in 2022.

The Government has introduced the Social Security (Uprating of Benefits) Bill which will suspend the earning linked measure of the Triple Lock for up-rating for 2022/23 only. The Government remains committed to implementing the Triple Lock in the usual way for 2023/24 and the remainder of the Parliament.

Decisions on the rates for State Pensions are made each Autumn as part of the Up-rating review by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. These are normally informed by earnings and prices data published in October each year. We will review the 2022 earnings growth figures at the appropriate time.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial measures her Department has announced to support people on universal credit (a) secure employment and (b) secure more hours if already in part-time employment.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for UC claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; Restart, which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to UC claimants who are unemployed for a year; and JETS, which provides light touch employment support for people who are claiming either Universal Credit or New Style Jobseekers Allowance, for up to 6 months, helping participants effectively re-engage with the labour market and focus their job search. We have also recruited an additional 13,500 Work Coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job. In total, our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people.

Supporting people into work and progressing in-work is at the heart of our approach to tackling poverty. We have recruited an additional 13,500 Work Coaches in our Jobcentres to help support people of all ages to find a job, retrain, or gain vital practical experience to move into better paid jobs or those that have opportunities for progression.

Last year DWP launched the In-Work Progression Commission led by Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith. The Commission published their independent report on 1 July 2021. It makes 26 recommendations to help people to progress at work and move out of low paid employment. The Government welcomed the report, we are carefully considering the recommendations and we will respond in the coming months.

In the meantime, DWP continues to build evidence of how we can support working claimants to progress in work. We are trialling a voluntary in-work support offer with claimants in South Yorkshire.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 September to Question 41749 on State Retirement Pensions, Administrative Delays, how many staff have been redeployed from universal credit to retirement services.

The Department is re-deploying circa 700 staff from other areas across DWP to help to stabilise the service further.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average answering time was for all her Department's phone lines for each month since March 2019.

The average call waiting time (Average Speed of Answer) for calls to DWP Service Lines (excluding Debt) in each month from March 2019 to August 2021 is shown in the table below in the format of hours:minutes:seconds.

Year

Month

Average Speed of Answer

2018 -2019

March

00:05:22

2019 - 2020

April

00:06:20

May

00:06:44

June

00:06:26

July

00:07:14

August

00:07:11

September

00:07:11

October

00:06:31

November

00:07:07

December

00:07:01

January

00:05:19

February

00:05:50

March

00:14:02

2020 - 2021

April

00:21:26

May

00:10:58

June

00:06:24

July

00:08:33

August

00:08:24

September

00:07:50

October

00:06:52

November

00:06:47

December

00:07:15

January

00:08:32

February

00:07:36

March

00:07:15

2021 – 2022

April

00:13:44

May

00:13:06

June

00:09:40

July

00:10:37

August

00:11:25

Data Source: BT - Historical Management Information (GI2 – HMI) Serco, Capita, G4S

Average Speed of Answer is the average customer wait time from the point of entering a queue to connection to an agent.

The data supplied does not include Debt lines but includes outsourced lines and CMS calls from April 2020 onwards.

The data supplied is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association's (PLSA) consultation paper entitled Responsible Investment Quality Mark: Consultation on Standards, published in June 2021, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of PLSA’s proposal to develop a quality mark to recognise good practice of pension schemes on responsible investment.

The Secretary of State will consider the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association's proposals in the usual way. DWP officials look forward to discussing stakeholder responses with their PLSA counterparts in due course. 

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the report, What will the end of the Universal Credit uplift mean for areas of poor health?, published by the Health Foundation on 10 September 2021, if she will make an estimate of the additional costs to (a) the NHS, (b) employers and (c) the wider economy of any impact of the planned removal of the £20 uplift to universal credit on healthy life expectancy.

No. The Chancellor announced a temporary six-month extension to the £20 per week uplift at the Budget on 3 March to support households affected by the economic shock of Covid-19. Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and the temporary uplift was part of the COVID support package worth £407 billion.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced with the success of the vaccine rollout. Now the economy is reopening and as we continue to progress with our recovery our focus is on helping people back into work.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for UC claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; Restart, which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to UC claimants who are unemployed for a year; and JETS, which provides light touch employment support for people who are claiming either Universal Credit or New Style Jobseekers Allowance, for up to 6 months, helping participants effectively re-engage with the labour market and focus their job search. We have also recruited an additional 13,500 work coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job. In total, our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the report, What will the end of the Universal Credit uplift mean for areas of poor health?, published by the Health Foundation on 10 September 2021, if she will make an assessment of the impact of the planned removal of the £20 uplift to universal credit on healthy life expectancy in areas where healthy life expectancy is relatively low.

No. The Chancellor announced a temporary six-month extension to the £20 per week uplift at the Budget on 3 March to support households affected by the economic shock of Covid-19. Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and the temporary uplift was part of the COVID support package worth £407 billion.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced with the success of the vaccine rollout. Now the economy is reopening and as we continue to progress with our recovery our focus is on helping people back into work.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for UC claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; Restart, which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to UC claimants who are unemployed for a year; and JETS, which provides light touch employment support for people who are claiming either Universal Credit or New Style Jobseekers Allowance, for up to 6 months, helping participants effectively re-engage with the labour market and focus their job search. We have also recruited an additional 13,500 work coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job. In total, our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been affected by the recent administrative delays in receiving their state pensions since turning 66.

DWP is aware that a small number of new State Pension claims have been subject to delays in receiving payment.

The Department is working hard to clear the current backlog, many of which have accrued since the Covid Pandemic.

We are prioritising overdue payments and payments that are imminent within the next few weeks. Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.

Claimants don’t need to act, we have identified the cases and will process them as soon as possible.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recommendations from the Institute for Public Policy Research of September 2021, to include the cost of broadband in (a) social security payments and (b) allowances for asylum seekers.

No assessment has been made.

Policy on broadband is a matter for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. A range of broadband social tariff packages are available in the market to support those on low incomes or who receive specific benefits. BT, for example, recently announced a Home Essentials package which will provide fibre and voice services to households in receipt of Universal Credit and certain other benefits for £15 per month. Virgin, Hyperoptic and other providers are offering similar packages to assist households on low incomes. Between them, these products are available to 99% of households across the country. The Government continues to encourage all fixed-line providers to introduce a social tariff offer so as to ensure those on low incomes have affordable access to services and information.

With respect to rates of income-related benefits, these are not made up of separate amounts for specific items such as broadband. Rather, they are intended to cover outgoings across households with a wide variety of characteristics and expenditure patterns.

Allowances for asylum seekers are a matter for the Home Office. Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute are provided with accommodation and other support to cover their essential needs, usually in the form of a weekly cash allowance. The level of the allowance is reviewed annually and takes into account communication needs, including the cost of buying and maintaining a mobile phone with internet access.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people will have their universal credit reduced as a result of the planned removal of the £20 uplift to the standard allowance in Hendon constituency.

The available information on the number of people with Universal Credit in payment, by geography, is published and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/.

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time was for the processing of a State Pension application as of 13 September 2021.

DWP is aware that a small number of new State Pension claims have been subject to delays in receiving payment.

The Department is working hard to clear the current backlog, many of which have accrued since the Covid Pandemic.

We are prioritising overdue payments and payments that are imminent within the next few weeks. Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.

Claimants don’t need to act, we have identified the cases and will process them as soon as possible.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons had only 69,000 young people started a Kickstart scheme job out of the 188,000 job placements available under that scheme as of July 2021.

Since Kickstart jobs commenced in November, we are pleased that by 8 September 2021 over 69,000 young people had started in jobs created by the scheme. There was an average of 2,800 more starting each week between 18/08/2021 and 08/09/2021. We are confident that we will can continue to fill tens of thousands over the coming months. Employers across Great Britain have provided thousands of roles so that young people can choose a job that is right for them. There are also jobs opening up for young people in the wider economy as it recovers from the global pandemic, between August 2020 and August 2021 there was a 381,000 increase in pay rolled employees under 25 years old.

A Kickstart job can start at any time over the lifetime of the scheme and some employers choose to delay the commencement of roles for a variety of reasons. Our data indicates that between the 27/07/2021 and 08/09/2021 the average time between receipt of an application by DWP to confirmation of its approval was 14 days. Within the same period the average time between receipt of an application and the job being made available for young people to apply for was 43 days. A significant portion of this time includes engagement with employers to return grant funding agreements and job description templates promptly so that applications can be progressed.

We are ensuring as many eligible young people as need it get a chance to experience the Kickstart Scheme. We are promoting vacancies on various platforms, including social media and using initiatives such as Kickstart Quickstart to match young people to jobs in some cases on the same day they are referred to the scheme. In addition, Jobcentres are inviting Kickstart employers into their centres to job match Kickstart opportunities with young people.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons had only 69,000 young people begun jobs under the Kickstart scheme as of 31 July 2021 compared with the target of 250,000 taking job under that scheme.

Since Kickstart jobs commenced in November, we are pleased that by 8 September 2021 over 69,000 young people had started in jobs created by the scheme. There was an average of 2,800 more starting each week between 18/08/2021 and 08/09/2021. We are confident that we will can continue to fill tens of thousands over the coming months. Employers across Great Britain have provided thousands of roles so that young people can choose a job that is right for them. There are also jobs opening up for young people in the wider economy as it recovers from the global pandemic, between August 2020 and August 2021 there was a 381,000 increase in pay rolled employees under 25 years old.

A Kickstart job can start at any time over the lifetime of the scheme and some employers choose to delay the commencement of roles for a variety of reasons. Our data indicates that between the 27/07/2021 and 08/09/2021 the average time between receipt of an application by DWP to confirmation of its approval was 14 days. Within the same period the average time between receipt of an application and the job being made available for young people to apply for was 43 days. A significant portion of this time includes engagement with employers to return grant funding agreements and job description templates promptly so that applications can be progressed.

We are ensuring as many eligible young people as need it get a chance to experience the Kickstart Scheme. We are promoting vacancies on various platforms, including social media and using initiatives such as Kickstart Quickstart to match young people to jobs in some cases on the same day they are referred to the scheme. In addition, Jobcentres are inviting Kickstart employers into their centres to job match Kickstart opportunities with young people.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Supreme Court judgment [2018] UKSC 48, what assessment have they made of the impact on family finances of not providing retrospective Bereavement Support Payment to families where the date of death of a family member was prior to 30 August 2018.

The Supreme Court and the High Court have declared the legislation governing Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) and Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) respectively to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in that surviving cohabitees with children cannot access these benefits.

The draft proposal for a Bereavement Benefits (2021) Remedial Order was laid before Parliament on 15th July 2021 and proposes to extend eligibility for Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) and Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) to surviving cohabitees with dependent children.

The changes proposed by the draft Order have effect from 30th August 2018, as this was the date of the Supreme Court judgment in the McLaughlin case. Where a death occurred before 30th August 2018, there can be eligibility for both WPA and BSP, but awards can only be made in respect of entitlement arising from that date.

The proposals in the draft Order are subject to a 60-day laying period during which comments are invited from parliamentarians and stakeholders about the proposals. These comments will then be reviewed and next steps considered.

An assessment of the impact on family finances of not providing BSP to families where the death of a family member occurred prior to 30th August 2018 has not been made.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the total number of children who experienced the death of a parent between 9 April 2001 and 30 August 2018 whose family unit (1) was not eligible for Widowed Parents Allowance or Bereavement Support Payment, and (2) will remain ineligible for support under the Draft Bereavement Benefits (Remedial) Order 2021.

No assessment has been made of the total number of children who experience the death of a parent between 9th April 2001 and 30th August 2018 whose family unit (1) was not eligible for Widowed Parents Allowance or Bereavement Support Payment, and (2) will remain ineligible for support under the Draft Bereavement Benefits (Remedial) Order 2021.

As part of the BSP claimant process, the number of dependent children are not captured, and therefore we do not hold the data required.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the total number of children who experienced the death of a parent between 9 February 2016 and 30 August 2018 whose family unit (1) was not eligible for Widowed Parents Allowance or Bereavement Support Payment, and (2) will remain ineligible for support under the Draft Bereavement Benefits (Remedial) Order 2021.

No assessment has been made of the total number of children who experience the death of a parent between 9th February 2016 and 30th August 2018 whose family unit (1) was not eligible for Widowed Parents Allowance or Bereavement Support Payment, and (2) will remain ineligible for support under the Draft Bereavement Benefits (Remedial) Order 2021.

As part of the BSP claimant process, the number of dependent children are not captured, and therefore we do not hold the data required.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the total number of children who, between 6 April 2017 and 30 August 2018, experienced the death of a parent but whose family unit (1) was not eligible for Bereavement Support Payment, and (2) remains ineligible for support under the Draft Bereavement Benefits (Remedial) Order 2021.

No assessment has been made of the total number of children who experience the death of a parent between 6th April 2017 and 30th August 2018 whose family unit (1) was not eligible for Widowed Parents Allowance or Bereavement Support Payment, and (2) will remain ineligible for support under the Draft Bereavement Benefits (Remedial) Order 2021.

As part of the BSP claimant process, the number of dependent children are not captured, and therefore we do not hold the data required.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost savings that will be achieved through the suspension of the "triple lock" on state pension payment increases.

Our latest estimates are that the difference between maintaining the Triple Lock in the face of the earnings spike and the double lock could be £4-5 billion. But we will not know the final numbers until later in the autumn.

Since 2010, we have increased the value of the full yearly basic State Pension by over £2,050, in cash terms. We now spend over £129 billion a year on pensioners in 2021/22.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost savings that will be achieved through the suspension of the “triple lock” on state pension payment increases.

Our latest estimates are that the difference between maintaining the Triple Lock in the face of the earnings spike and the double lock could be £4-5 billion. But we will not know the final numbers until later in the autumn.

Since 2010, we have increased the value of the full yearly basic State Pension by over £2,050, in cash terms. We now spend over £129 billion a year on pensioners in 2021/22.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the welfare system in helping to alleviate levels of (a) pensioner, (b) in-work, (c) food and (d) child poverty in (i) Coventry North East constituency, (ii) Coventry, (iii) the West Midlands and (iv) England.

The government tracks rates of pensioner, in-work, and child poverty for the West Midlands and England as part of its Households Below Average Income (HBAI) publication. The latest estimates are for the three year average between 2017/18 – 2019/20. Breakdowns by receipt of benefits can be found on Stat-Xplore. Data for Coventry and the Coventry North East constituency is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Rates of household food security in West Midlands and England can be found in the Family Resources Survey, including by benefit receipt. The latest figures are from 2019/20. As above, data for Coventry and the Coventry North East constituency is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Rates and numbers of children in absolute and relative low income, before housing costs, are available for Coventry North East and Coventry as part of the government’s Children in Low Income Families (CILIF) publication. The latest figures are from 2019/20 and can be viewed on Stat-Xplore. This is not available by receipt of benefits.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications her Department has received under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 in respect of covid-19 vaccines; how many applications have been (a) rejected and (b) accepted; and how many staff are engaged in processing those applications.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the (a) challenges and (b) merits of personal independence payment phone assessments.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to provide personal independence payment claimants with a choice of being assessed by phone or face-to-face; and if her Department will take steps to help ensure that claimants can make an informed choice about how they would prefer to be assessed.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of personal independence claimants had their award changed at mandatory reconsideration stage following (a) an assessment by phone and (b) a face-to-face assessment between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a phased approach for the reduction of carers allowance payments to claimants who permanently stop their caring duties, as a means of reducing the potential for financial hardship.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to measure the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people with disabilities.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employed people are receiving universal credit in Hendon constituency.

The latest available statistics on the number of people who are on Universal Credit and are in employment, by parliamentary constituency, are published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an estimate of the proportion of employees automatically enrolled in a workplace pension scheme who are likely to reach a moderate lifestyle in retirement as defined by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association's Retirement Living Standards.

This Government is focussed on its goal of expanding the benefits of automatic enrolment in the mid-2020s, increasing the overall amounts being saved by working people, and extending the benefits of workplace pensions to younger workers. I welcome the PLSA standards as a contribution to the debate.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she or Ministers in her Department have met with representatives of the Canadian Government to discuss frozen pensions.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to meet with representatives of the Canadian Government to discuss frozen pensions.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has recently received a request from the Canadian Government to discuss frozen pensions.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to meet Deb Schulte, member of the Canadian Parliament, to discuss frozen pensions.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she last received correspondence from the Canadian Government on a reciprocal social security agreement; and if she will place a copy of that correspondence in the Library.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce the time taken for people turning 66 to receive the first payment of their state pension.

DWP is aware that a small number of new State Pension claims have been subject to delays in receiving payment.

The Department is working hard to clear the current backlog, many of which have accrued since the Covid Pandemic.

We are prioritising overdue payments and payments that are imminent within the next few weeks. Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.

Claimants don’t need to act, we have identified the cases and will process them as soon as possible.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to improve customer service to help elderly people contacting her Department regarding the time taken to receive their state pension payments.

DWP is aware that a small number of new State Pension claims have been subject to delays in receiving payment.

The Department is working hard to clear the current backlog, many of which have accrued since the Covid Pandemic.

We are prioritising overdue payments and payments that are imminent within the next few weeks. Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.

Claimants don’t need to act, we have identified the cases and will process them as soon as possible.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to reform Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) for homeowners facing financial difficulties by (a) reducing the time between claiming SMI and receiving the first payment from 39 weeks to 13 weeks and (b) removing the zero earnings rule linked to universal credit that prevents people in any paid work from claiming SMI.

In the legacy system, those in work but on low income received support via the Tax Credit system. There was no help in Tax Credits towards mortgage interest payments and that principle was carried forward into Universal Credit.

Those with earned income will all benefit from the earnings taper and may also benefit from the work allowances. his means that they are in a better position to meet their mortgage commitments than those without earnings.

There are currently no plans to amend the Support for Mortgage Interest qualifying period or the zero earnings rule.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)