I say to my noble friend and the whole House that we should thank God that we have work coaches. Their training has been enhanced, they are focused on the individual and they make sure that those individuals get the support and access to the benefits that they need. More importantly than anything else, they are getting access to the help they need to get back to work. Universal credit was designed to make work pay, so not all of a person’s earnings are deducted from UC. The department has made changes to improve the financial incentives to work by reducing the taper rate to 63% from 65%. All these things are continually looked at.
My Lords, a little while ago there were widespread reports that fraudsters were illegally claiming public money from the universal credit uplift. The Government moved quickly and took steps to tackle this. Can the Minister update the House on the latest position?
The noble Lord is right to raise the point about people who try to abuse the system with no right to do so. The situation with fraud and recovering sums is being dealt with in the department. To give the best response in the time I have available, I will write to the noble Lord and place a copy of the letter in the Library.