Owen Smith Portrait

Owen Smith

Labour - Former Member for Pontypridd

First elected: 6th May 2010

Left House: 6th November 2019 (Standing Down)


Owen Smith is not a member of any APPGs
6 Former APPG memberships
Angling, Electoral Campaigning Transparency, Folic Acid Fortification, Surgical Mesh Implants, Swimming, Uganda
International Trade Committee
25th Mar 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
14th Jun 2017 - 23rd Mar 2018
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
14th Sep 2015 - 27th Jun 2016
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
14th May 2012 - 14th Sep 2015
Welsh Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 28th Nov 2011
Shadow Minister (Wales)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011


Division Voting information

Owen Smith has voted in 1517 divisions, and 8 times against the majority of their Party.

29 Oct 2019 - Early Parliamentary General Election Bill - View Vote Context
Owen Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour No votes vs 127 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 438 Noes - 20
1 Apr 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Votes) - View Vote Context
Owen Smith voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 10 Labour No votes vs 230 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 273 Noes - 276
1 Apr 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Votes) - View Vote Context
Owen Smith voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 25 Labour No votes vs 185 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 261 Noes - 282
27 Mar 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship Votes - View Vote Context
Owen Smith voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 42 Labour No votes vs 143 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 188 Noes - 283
8 Feb 2017 - European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Owen Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Labour No votes vs 163 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 496 Noes - 111
8 Feb 2017 - European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Owen Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 52 Labour No votes vs 161 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 494 Noes - 122
1 Feb 2017 - European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Owen Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 47 Labour No votes vs 166 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 498 Noes - 114
11 Sep 2015 - Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill - View Vote Context
Owen Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 73 Labour Aye votes vs 91 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 118 Noes - 330
View All Owen Smith Division Votes

All Debates

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
David Jones (Conservative)
(85 debate interactions)
Alun Cairns (Conservative)
(61 debate interactions)
David Gauke (Independent)
(46 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(377 debate contributions)
Wales Office
(176 debate contributions)
Northern Ireland Office
(118 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(99 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Owen Smith's debates

Pontypridd 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).

Owen Smith has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Owen Smith

15th October 2019
Owen Smith signed this EDM on Thursday 24th October 2019

Fair pay and treatment of outsourced staff at Northwick Park Hospital

Tabled by: Gareth Thomas (Labour (Co-op) - Harrow West)
That this House expresses concern that many of the 400 outsourced catering, porters, cleaners and ward hostesses employed by Medirest, which is part of the Compass Group, at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow are being paid £8.21 an hour rather than the Living Wage Foundation rate of £9 an hour …
32 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Oct 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 28
Independent: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
15th July 2019
Owen Smith signed this EDM on Monday 15th July 2019

ENGLAND CRICKET WORLD CUP 2019 CHAMPIONS

Tabled by: Jo Stevens (Labour - Cardiff Central)
That this House applauds the victory by the men's England and Wales cricket team at the final of the lnternational Cricket Council's World Cup held at Lords; notes that it is the first men's England cricket team to win an ICC World Cup in any format; congratulates the team on …
36 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Jul 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 30
Conservative: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Independent: 1
View All Owen Smith's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Owen Smith, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


2 Urgent Questions tabled by Owen Smith

Wednesday 2nd March 2016
Thursday 28th January 2016

1 Adjournment Debate led by Owen Smith

Tuesday 12th February 2019

Owen Smith has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


Latest 50 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
5 Other Department Questions
3rd Nov 2015
Pay
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the likely change in the pay gap between workers under and over 25 and those older than 25 over the course of the 2015 Parliament.

The National Minimum Wage rate structure provides different rates according to age and the National Living Wage will apply to those aged 25 and over. The Low Pay Commission will continue to monitor, evaluate and review pay conditions for younger workers when it makes recommendations for future changes to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.

13th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect on productivity of increasing the minimum wage.

The Government will publish a full Impact Assessment alongside draft regulations to implement the National Living Wage.

As noted in Summer Budget 2015, at a firm level there is some evidence that previous increases in minimum wages in low paying firms may have been associated with increases in productivity.

Additionally, the Office for Budget Responsibility has published an estimate of the aggregate impact on productivity due to compositional change in the economy. They estimate an increase in hourly productivity in 2020 of 0.3 percentage points through this mechanism.

13th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps his Department is taking to improve rates of pay for people aged under 25.

The priority for younger workers is to gain skills and experience and to secure work. This is already reflected in the National Minimum Wage rate structure, where the youth rate is currently £1.40 lower than the adult rate. This reflects that wages tend to increase through the early 20s, as workers gain more experience. Youth unemployment is higher compared to those over 25.

The wages of younger workers will continue to be underpinned by the National Minimum Wage as recommended by the Low Pay Commission at the highest possible level without affecting employment.

14th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many times (a) he and (b) other Ministers in his Department met employees or third-party representatives of tobacco companies in (i) 2013, (ii) 2014 and (iii) 2015.

Details of Ministers’ meetings with external organisations are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?departments%5B%5D=department-for-business-innovation-skills&publication_type=transparency-data

9th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government about creation of the Small Business Conciliation Service.

Through the forthcoming Enterprise Bill, this Government will introduce measures to create a Small Business Conciliation Service to help small businesses resolve business-to-business disputes.

The Government will shortly seek views on the scope and functions of this new service to ensure it has real impact. We will engage with each of the devolved administrations, including the Welsh Government during this process.

24th Jan 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Conservative–DUP coordination committee last met to discuss future Government business; and whether she plans to publish details and minutes of such meetings.

The Coordination Committee last met on 29 January 2018 and will meet again soon. The agendas and summaries of these meetings are regularly published on Gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/conservative-and-dup-agreement-and-uk-government-financial-support-for-northern-ireland

13th Oct 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment the Government has made of the rates of productivity of young employed people in the UK.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

10th Sep 2014
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of people in Wales working (a) for the minimum wage and (b) below the living wage.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

24th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Government became aware that UK cities would not be able to bid to be named European Capital of Culture; and when this was communicated to those cities that were so bidding.

The European Commission wrote to the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 22 November 2017. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library. The five candidate cities were informed of the European Commission’s decision on 23 November 2017.

13th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to respond to the recommendations in the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission's 2015 State of the Nation Annual Report.

The government is grateful to the Commission for its wide-ranging and comprehensive report and will study the findings and recommendations very carefully. As the Prime Minister announced on 11 January, we are committed to publishing a Life Chances Strategy in the Spring.The Strategy will set out a comprehensive plan to fight disadvantage and extend opportunity, including a wider set of non-statutory measures on root causes of child poverty such as family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency. The government looks forward to working with the new Social Mobility Commission, which will continue to play a very important role in the drive to promote and increase social mobility in the years to come.

22nd Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of the relocation of Pontypridd driving test centre to Llantrisant.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have advised that the building that currently accommodates Pontypridd driving test centre (DTC) has reached the end of its functional and economic life. The Government-owned Llantrisant goods vehicle testing station (GVTS), which is only seven miles from Pontypridd DTC, provides low-cost alternative accommodation that meets all of the DVSA'S location criteria and testing requirements.

The relocation is expected to reduce the DVSA’s rental liabilities by over £6,000 a year, and avoid significant costs associated with making the current property fit for purpose. The relocation to Llantrisant GVTS should also provide both accommodation and operational efficiency cost savings, while improving the customer experience and maintaining the service quality of the car practical driving test.

22nd Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on which date his Department plans to relocate the Pontypridd driving test centre to Llantrisant.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is now working with its contractors to determine a delivery programme for the works required to effect the relocation from Pontypridd driving test centre to Llantrisant goods vehicle testing station.

Once the programme has been agreed the DVSA will confirm the date on which the centre will be relocated, and inform affected stakeholders including candidates, approved driving instructors, MPs, Welsh Assembly Members, and the local council.

22nd Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on learner drivers of the relocation of Pontypridd driving test centre to Llantrisant.

60 percent of candidates will be closer to, or at least no further away from their nearest centre, compared to Pontypridd. The impact on driving instructors will be minimal as the training area, and consequently the mileage will not increase for the majority of driving lessons being delivered.

22nd Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on driving instructors of the relocation of Pontypridd driving test centre to Llantrisant.

60 percent of candidates will be closer to, or at least no further away from their nearest centre, compared to Pontypridd. The impact on driving instructors will be minimal as the training area, and consequently the mileage will not increase for the majority of driving lessons being delivered.

22nd Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on which date a Minister of his Department last visited Pontypridd DVSA test centre.

There is no record held by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency of a Minister visiting Pontypridd driving test centre.

29th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that private pensions are accessible through the pensions dashboard.

Private Pensions information will be available through dashboards. Delivery of these will be led by industry and facilitated by government. We will set out and consult on our proposed approach to delivery, including how to maximise private pension schemes participation in the dashboard in our feasibility report, which will be published shortly.

People can already access the online ‘Check your State Pension’ service through GOV.UK to get a forecast of their State Pension. This includes information about how they may be able to improve the amount of State Pension they are entitled to, as well as providing a view of their National Insurance contribution record. Check Your State Pension service has provided more than ten million online estimates since its introduction in 2016.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to ensure that State Pension information is accessible through the pensions dashboard to enable (a) pensioners and (b) people approaching retirement age to make informed decisions.

Private Pensions information will be available through dashboards. Delivery of these will be led by industry and facilitated by government. We will set out and consult on our proposed approach to delivery, including how to maximise private pension schemes participation in the dashboard in our feasibility report, which will be published shortly.

People can already access the online ‘Check your State Pension’ service through GOV.UK to get a forecast of their State Pension. This includes information about how they may be able to improve the amount of State Pension they are entitled to, as well as providing a view of their National Insurance contribution record. Check Your State Pension service has provided more than ten million online estimates since its introduction in 2016.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what advice his Department provides to vulnerable customers switching from a Post Office Card account to a bank account in order to manage their benefits and tax credit payments.

A dedicated telephone service has been set up and aims to support Post Office card account users, who can, into mainstream banking. Customers who receive a letter about how their payments are made can call free to ask questions and if required will be provided with information to help them choose an account that’s right for their circumstances.

This could include continuing to receive payments into their POca, as while the majority of pension and benefit payments are paid into a bank account some customers, including those who are vulnerable, may remain unable to use or access such services.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department plans to pay benefits and pensions into Post Office card accounts after 2021.

In 2014 Government committed to maintain POca until at least 2021, to ensure that people who cannot use a mainstream account can continue to access their benefits and pensions.

Government’s existing POca contract with the Post Office, which expires in November 2021, has an option to be extended for up to 3 years to 2024. A decision on any extension will be taken at the appropriate time, informed by both customers’ needs and the need to make sure the taxpayer sees Value for Money.

19th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Post Office card accounts have migrated to mainstream bank accounts to date.

Direct Payment into a bank, building society or credit union account is the most efficient, cost effective and preferred way to make pension and benefit payments. The department is writing to some Post Office card account users about receiving their payments this way and around 440,000 have provided alternative payment details.

16th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants his Department has written to since March 2016 to inform them that they may be affected by changes to the work allowances of universal credit.

We have contacted around 59,000 Universal Credit claimants. The actual number of claimants affected is expected to be significantly lower.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the number of employment coaches of the Work and Health Programme.

Significant Progress has been made in tackling unemployment, with dramatic falls in the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits, and in long-term unemployment.

Contracted provision will continue to play a crucial role in offering support at the right time to those who have difficulty accessing the labour market. The Spending Review in October 2015 announced funding rising to at least £130 million a year by 2019/20 for the new Work and Health programme, including funding to be devolved to Scotland. Support will focus on people with a disability, early access for priority groups and the long term unemployed. We expect the majority of people who start the programme to have a disability.

The number of employment coaches and other support required to deliver contracted employment support is a matter for providers. The process to select providers to deliver the Work and Health Programme is at an early stage and we expect potential providers to consider this as part of their service bids

The Work and Health Programme will have no impact on the number of work coaches in

DWP.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
16th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when he expects to announce what changes are required to comply with the terms of the Supreme Court ruling of November 2016 on the under-occupancy penalty.

The Department is taking action to make changes to the regulations in order to comply with the terms of the judgment. The Social Security Advisory Committee and Local Authority Associations are being consulted about the changes in the usual way. The Department will also be issuing guidance to Local Authorities ready for when the changes are in place.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 4 May 2016 to Question 35354, for what reasons the correspondence does not inform claimants of the availability of the Flexible Support Fund.

The purpose of the correspondence was to notify the claimants who may be affected of the changes to the work allowances and to highlight the work coach as the primary source of additional support.

As the Flexible Support Fund is accessed at the discretion of the work coach and is based on individual claimant need, it was not explicitly referred to in the letter.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many referrals to debt advice services have been made by jobcentre staff in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not held.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons the allocation for the Flexible Support Fund is lower in 2016-17 than in 2015-16.

The budget for Flexible Support Fund (FSF) is subject to annual review and change. This is based on claimant needs and volumes, and as new policies are agreed and old policies are withdrawn. As discretionary expenditure it is also dependent upon overall Departmental affordability.

The FSF budget has actually increased between 2015/16 and 2016/17. In 2015/16 it was £69.5m. It is £76.7m for 2016/17.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 4 May 2016 to Question 35718, what his Department's combined legal costs were for the cases EE/2013/0145, EA2013/0148 and EA/2013/0149 heard at the First Tier Tribunal on 22 February 2016.

The total recorded external legal cost of these cases up to March 2016 is around £94,000.

This case raised important issues both for the Department, and for the Government as a whole, with regards to being able to create a safe space for free and frank provision of advice to officials and Ministers. The Government remains of a view that this was a case worth pursuing as the principles here are important ones for the proper conduct of public affairs.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been migrated on to universal credit through a change of circumstance in each of the last three years.

This information is not currently available.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress his Department has made on halving the disability employment gap.

In the last two years, the number of disabled people in work has increased by 365,000. But we recognise that the gap between the employment rates of disabled people and non-disabled people remains too large. That is why we are committed to halving it.

Progress against the disability employment gap is a key factor in progress towards full employment. This is consistent with the Government’s manifesto commitment which said ‘as part of our objective to achieve full employment, we will aim to halve the disability employment gap’. The annual report on progress towards full employment will include an update on the Government’s progress towards halving the disability employment gap.

We plan to produce a Green Paper later this year that starts to reframe the discussion with disabled people and their representative organisations and points towards long-term reform.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the receipts to the public purse were from (a) the £20 fee charged for applications to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), (b) the 20 per cent collection fee for paying parents using the CMS collect and pay service, (c) the four per cent collection fee for receiving parents using the CMS collect and pay service and (d) enforcement fees levied on paying parents in 2015-16.

Receipts to the public purse during 2015-16 were as follows:

Item

Amount received in 2015/16

Application fee

£1.7m

Collection charge from paying parents

£5.6m

Collection charge from receiving parents

£1.1m

Enforcement charges

£0.1m

These figures are draft and subject to audit.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the outcomes were of the universal credit in-work conditionality pilots.

The In-work Progression Randomised Control Trial is rolling out nationally but not yet complete. We plan to have recruited the necessary 15,000 participants by Autumn 2016. We will then continue to support claimants for a further year in the trial, with findings in early 2018.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to page 192 of the Office of Budget Responsibility's report, Economic and fiscal outlook, published in March 2016, how the estimated savings of £0.8 billion by 2020-21 from the minimum income floor of universal credit were calculated.

The savings were estimated using DWP's and HMRC's models of the tax and benefit system. Extracting the full details of the calculations carried out within the models would only be possible at disproportionate cost.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to universal credit, what his estimate is of Government spending on transitional protection where entitlement is lower in each year until 2018-19.

Our estimates of Government spending on transitional protection over the Spending Review period are: £120 million in 2018/19. The national implementation of managed migration is not planned to start before June 2018, and so transitional protection will not start until then.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to his oral contribution of 21 March 2016, Official Report, column 1269, whether his Department plans to proceed with the removal of housing benefit for people aged between 18 and 21 years old.

The Government will be taking forward its plans to remove the automatic entitlement to housing support for new claims in Universal Credit for 18-21 year olds who are out of work from April 2017; as announced in the 2015 Summer Budget. The planned changes will ensure that vulnerable young people who are in need of support for their housing needs continue to receive it whilst maintaining a system that is fair to the taxpayer

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what his Department's total legal costs were in case EA/2013/0148/9 heard by the First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber Information Rights on 22 February 2016.

At the First Tier Tribunal on 22 February 2016 3 cases were heard together - EE/2013/0145; EA2013/0148; EA/2013/0149 . We can not break down the costs for the individual cases.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which one of his Department's assets Telereal Trillium are responsible for maintaining.

Since 1998 the Department for Work and Pensions occupies space provided through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) known as the PRIME Contract.

Under the terms of this PFI Contract the Department sold all of its property assets and assigned all leases held to Telereal Trillium, and now leases back fully serviced accommodation from them.

As such the Department does not own any assets that are maintained by Telereal Trillium.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many ongoing legal disputes his Department is currently engaged in.

The Department does not hold any central register of on-going legal disputes.

To collate the information requested would take the costs of responding to the question over the disproportionate cost threshold.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the under-occupancy penalty on families with severely disabled children.

The rules allow severely disabled children who are normally expected to share a bedroom with another child to have a bedroom of their own.

This easement applies when a severely disabled child is in receipt of the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance and their disabilities would mean that they would disturb the sleep of the other child; or there is a potential threat of violence. This easement applies across both the private and social rented sectors.

Discretionary Housing Payments are available for those who do not satisfy these conditions.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when he intends to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Pontypridd dated 28 March 2016 on the Government's priorities for social security.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Mr Crabbe), replied on 03 May 2016.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March 2016 to Question 30624 and with reference to the First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber Information Rights decision of 11 March 2016, if his Department will publish the Risk Register prior to the universal credit re-set in 2013.

Following the first tier tribunal decision that the Universal Credit risk register for April 2012 should be released, the document was shared with the requestor.

The government’s view remains that is not in the public interest to publish risk registers because it will compromise the ability to conduct a full and frank assessment of risks and therefore increase the risk to successful delivery of major programmes.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2016 to Question 30180 on universal credit: correspondence, whether claimants have been informed of the availability of the Flexible Support Fund in that correspondence.

Copies of the communications claimants received have been placed in the House of Commons library (reference DEP2016-0302) and are available at the following link:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/deposited-papers/?fd=2016-03-11&search_term=Department+for+Work+and+Pensions&itemId=119004#toggle-302

The correspondence does not inform claimants of the availability of the Flexible Support Fund, however guidance for Work Coaches has been updated to remind them of the availability of the fund for those claimants affected by the changes to the Work Allowances.

The approximate cost to DWP of communicating the planned changes to the work allowances to Universal Credit claimants was £590,000.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2016 to Question 30180, when he expects copies of the correspondence sent to claimants on universal credit to be placed in the Library.

Copies of the communications claimants received have been placed in the House of Commons library (reference DEP2016-0302) and are available at the following link:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/deposited-papers/?fd=2016-03-11&search_term=Department+for+Work+and+Pensions&itemId=119004#toggle-302

The correspondence does not inform claimants of the availability of the Flexible Support Fund, however guidance for Work Coaches has been updated to remind them of the availability of the fund for those claimants affected by the changes to the Work Allowances.

The approximate cost to DWP of communicating the planned changes to the work allowances to Universal Credit claimants was £590,000.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 April 2016 to Question 33701, how much his Department has spent on contacting people likely to be affected by planned changes to the work allowance element of universal credit.

Copies of the communications claimants received have been placed in the House of Commons library (reference DEP2016-0302) and are available at the following link:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/deposited-papers/?fd=2016-03-11&search_term=Department+for+Work+and+Pensions&itemId=119004#toggle-302

The correspondence does not inform claimants of the availability of the Flexible Support Fund, however guidance for Work Coaches has been updated to remind them of the availability of the fund for those claimants affected by the changes to the Work Allowances.

The approximate cost to DWP of communicating the planned changes to the work allowances to Universal Credit claimants was £590,000.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2016 to Question 25156, if he will publish the list of circumstances that would trigger natural migration from tax credits to universal credit.

The events that can trigger a change of circumstances depend on many factors. They are similar to the circumstances that would trigger a new claim to existing benefits or tax credits.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new staff have been appointed to his Department since 21 March 2016.

A total of 337 new employees were appointed to the Department for Work and Pensions during the period 21 March 2016 to 25 April 2016.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to paragraph 10 of the explanatory memorandum to the Universal Credit (Work Allowance) Amendment Regulations 2015, if he will publish the calculations used to estimate savings arising from the introduction of those regulations.

The savings were estimated using DWP's and HMRC's models of the tax and benefit system. Extracting the full details of the calculations carried out within the models would only be possible at disproportionate cost.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Pontypridd of 15 April 2016 on assessments for personal independence payments.

I replied to the hon. Member on 21 April 2016.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2016 to Question 30765, when his Department plans to publish its White Paper on improving support for disabled people.

Improving support for disabled people and people with health conditions to get into and stay in work is a key priority for Government.

The Secretary of State has outlined that he is starting a new conversation with disabled people and people with health conditions, their representatives, healthcare professionals and employers. He is listening to all of their ideas and this will help inform our plans.

These will be set out in due course.