TREASURY – CORONAVIRUS & SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYEES – 19 March 2020
[Sir Iain Duncan Smith: ... Universal credit has three basic levers that can all be pulled now enormously to help people who are in work. First, the taper could be lowered dramatically at this stage, which would push the floor right up underneath people in work at the moment, allowing them to fall back on that if employers cannot deal with them. Secondly, Ministers could change benefit rates, allowing a greater expanse of money to flow to claimants: that could be done today. The third area where my hon. Friend could act is to look at the waiting time and reduce that almost immediately. Those three things were always built into the system for flexibility and they can be done today. They can be delivered within days by a Department that already has the ability to do that while he gets on with the other facilities.]
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Dr Julian Lewis: Given that the suggestions of my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Sir Iain Duncan Smith) could be implemented so speedily, will the Minister undertake to try immediately after this session to get an answer on whether they should be implemented?
[The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen): I thank my right hon. Friend for that question. Of course I will.]