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Written Question
Visas: Fees and Charges
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: Sam Tarry (LAB - Ilford South)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to provide financial support for visa fees to people in receipt of personal independence payments and universal credit.

Answered by Kevin Foster

The Home Office provides exceptions to the need to pay application fees in a number of specific circumstances to ensure the Home Office’s immigration and nationality fee structure complies with international obligations and wider government policy.

Fee waivers are available on affordability grounds where the payment of a fee would be incompatible with an applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Detailed guidance can be found via the following link:

Fee waiver - casework guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk)

The Home Office keeps fees for immigration and nationality applications under review and ensures they are within the parameters agreed with HM Treasury and Parliament.


Written Question
Universal Credit
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: Margaret Ferrier (IND - Rutherglen and Hamilton West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has been made of the impact of ending the £20 universal credit uplift on children living in households in receipt of that benefit.

Answered by Will Quince

No impact assessment has been made.

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.

The latest poverty figures (2019/20) demonstrate that absolute poverty rates (both before and after housing costs) for working-age adults in working families have fallen since 2009/10. In 2019/20, 8% of working age adults in working families were in absolute poverty (before housing costs), compared to 9% in 2009/10.

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.

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.


Written Question
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: Feryal Clark (LAB - Enfield North)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the potential impact of the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on the number of jobs that will be retained.

Answered by Jesse Norman

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was designed as a temporary, economy-wide measure to support businesses while widespread restrictions were in place. Providing support to the end of September strikes the right balance between continuing to support the economy as it opens up and ensuring incentives are in place to get people back to work as demand returns.

This approach has worked; at the start of this crisis, unemployment was expected to reach 12 per cent or more. It is now expected to peak at about half of that level. That means almost 2 million fewer people out of work than previously feared. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Report (MPR) forecasts that the unemployment rate will on average be around 4.7% across Q3 and Q4, a downwards revision from the May MPR which projected unemployment to peak at 5.4% in Q3 and below the OBR Spring forecast (6.5% in the final quarter of 2021).

Moreover, the labour market is recovering rapidly with reopening of the economy in line with the roadmap. Flash HMRC PAYE data for July showed the number of paid employees increased for the eighth consecutive month. The unemployment rate stood at 4.7% in the 3 months to June 2021, down from a peak of 5.2% in the 3 months to December 2020.

Vacancies in the three months to July 2021 continued to rise, reaching record levels and are now up 18% (rising by 142,000 to 953,000) on the three months to February 2020.

In order to support people into work, as part of its comprehensive Plan for Jobs, the Government has announced the £2 billion Kickstart scheme which will create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people, and the new three year Restart programme, which will provide intensive and tailored support to over one million unemployed Universal Credit claimants across England and Wales and help them find work.


Written Question
Universal Credit
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: Diana Johnson (LAB - Kingston upon Hull North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her interview with BBC Breakfast on 13 September 2021, what modelling she used to assess that the reduction of the £20 uplift was the equivalent of two hours of work where the applicable universal credit earnings taper rate is at 63 per cent.

Answered by Will Quince

Universal Credit is a benefit where the amount received by claimants and the way this fluctuates in line with earnings will depend on individual household circumstances. This range of circumstances will affect how increased earnings for entering or progressing in work will translate into a rise in net income.

The National Living Wage is currently £8.91 an hour for workers aged over 23, where 2 hours in work should mean gross earnings of nearly £20; many individuals will receive an hourly pay rate greater than this.

In Universal Credit, those with children or limited capability for work are entitled to a Work Allowance of either £293 or £515 a month. This means that the taper rate does not apply to their earnings below this level and they do not see any reduction in their Universal Credit award As a consequence, many claimants can keep all their earnings from their first several hours of 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.


Written Question
Universal Credit
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: Diana Johnson (LAB - Kingston upon Hull North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of additional hours a person who is in work and claiming universal credit would need to work to make up for the removal of the £20 uplift to that benefit.

Answered by Will Quince

Universal Credit is a benefit where the amount received by claimants and the way this fluctuates in line with earnings will depend on individual household circumstances. This range of circumstances will affect how increased earnings for entering or progressing in work will translate into a rise in net income.

The National Living Wage is currently £8.91 an hour for workers aged over 23, where 2 hours in work should mean gross earnings of nearly £20; many individuals will receive an hourly pay rate greater than this.

In Universal Credit, those with children or limited capability for work are entitled to a Work Allowance of either £293 or £515 a month. This means that the taper rate does not apply to their earnings below this level and they do not see any reduction in their Universal Credit award As a consequence, many claimants can keep all their earnings from their first several hours of 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.


Written Question
Universal Credit
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: Diana Johnson (LAB - Kingston upon Hull North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her comment on BBC Breakfast on 13 September 2021 that £20 a week is about 2 hours' extra work every week, how that calculation was made.

Answered by Will Quince

Universal Credit is a benefit where the amount received by claimants and the way this fluctuates in line with earnings will depend on individual household circumstances. This range of circumstances will affect how increased earnings for entering or progressing in work will translate into a rise in net income.

The National Living Wage is currently £8.91 an hour for workers aged over 23, where 2 hours in work should mean gross earnings of nearly £20; many individuals will receive an hourly pay rate greater than this.

In Universal Credit, those with children or limited capability for work are entitled to a Work Allowance of either £293 or £515 a month. This means that the taper rate does not apply to their earnings below this level and they do not see any reduction in their Universal Credit award As a consequence, many claimants can keep all their earnings from their first several hours of 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.


Written Question
Kickstart Scheme
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: David Linden (SNP - Glasgow East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason the kickstart scheme was not extended to legacy benefit claimants.

Answered by Mims Davies

Kickstart is aimed at young people on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment. Young people in receipt of legacy benefits may be less likely to benefit from Kickstart over other provision, as such Jobcentre Work Coaches identify those most in need of extra support and discuss with them the most appropriate path forward, this would include accessing Kickstart if they are eligible.

Kickstart is part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs and Youth Offer which allows Job Centre Plus Work Coaches to find the best route for each young person, this includes our Youth Employment Programme and dedicated Youth Employment Coaches and the Youth Hubs, which we aim to have 150 open by the end of the year. This combined offer ensures that young people looking for work have access to the support they need.


Written Question
Kickstart Scheme: Disability
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: David Linden (SNP - Glasgow East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 28 May 2021 to Question 6283, for what reasons her Department does not use information it holds on the number of universal credit claimants on the Kickstart scheme who have declared a disability to record data on disability for Kickstart scheme participants.

Answered by Mims Davies

The Kickstart Scheme was launched quickly and in response to the impact of the pandemic as part of a comprehensive package of support for young people. The scheme supports eligible 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment, regardless of disadvantage or disability. Mechanisms that record the number of disabled young people participating were not included within the initial design of Kickstart, however disability status is recorded on the wider Universal Credit systems.

The information requested is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and in some cases being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme who have a disability or health condition and will do this as part of the evaluation. The evaluation will include surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants. It will look at their experiences within their Kickstart job and track changes in views, attitudes and employment status. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.


Written Question
Kickstart Scheme: Disability
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: David Linden (SNP - Glasgow East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons her Department has not included statistics on disability in its publication on characteristics in relation to the Kickstart scheme.

Answered by Mims Davies

The Kickstart Scheme was launched quickly and in response to the impact of the pandemic as part of a comprehensive package of support for young people. The scheme supports eligible 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment, regardless of disadvantage or disability. Mechanisms that record the number of disabled young people participating were not included within the initial design of Kickstart, however disability status is recorded on the wider Universal Credit systems.

The information requested is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and in some cases being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme who have a disability or health condition and will do this as part of the evaluation. The evaluation will include surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants. It will look at their experiences within their Kickstart job and track changes in views, attitudes and employment status. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.


Written Question
Kickstart Scheme
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: David Linden (SNP - Glasgow East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to record the experiences of (a) disabled people and (b) other participants in the Kickstart scheme.

Answered by Mims Davies

The Kickstart Scheme was launched quickly and in response to the impact of the pandemic as part of a comprehensive package of support for young people. The scheme supports eligible 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment, regardless of disadvantage or disability. Mechanisms that record the number of disabled young people participating were not included within the initial design of Kickstart, however disability status is recorded on the wider Universal Credit systems.

The information requested is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and in some cases being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme who have a disability or health condition and will do this as part of the evaluation. The evaluation will include surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants. It will look at their experiences within their Kickstart job and track changes in views, attitudes and employment status. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.


Written Question
Universal Credit: Rutherglen and Hamilton West
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: Margaret Ferrier (IND - Rutherglen and Hamilton West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential effect on the ending of the £20 weekly universal credit uplift on benefit recipients in Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency.

Answered by Will Quince

No impact assessment has been made.

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.

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.


Written Question
Kickstart Scheme: Disability
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: David Linden (SNP - Glasgow East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access the Kickstart scheme.

Answered by Mims Davies

Young people on Universal Credit with a disability or health condition can access the Kickstart scheme and any reasonable adjustment they require with either a Work Coach, Youth Employability Coach or Disability Employment Adviser. If adjustments are required to enable the young person to take up a Kickstart job these are then discussed and agreed with the Kickstart employer.

If the young person does have a Work Coach assigned to them and they wish to find out more about Kickstart opportunities this can be arranged with their local Jobcentre.


Written Question
Kickstart Scheme
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: David Linden (SNP - Glasgow East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish her Department's monitoring of the characteristics of people who participate in the Kickstart scheme.

Answered by Mims Davies

The Kickstart Scheme was launched quickly and in response to the impact of the pandemic as part of a comprehensive package of support for young people. The scheme supports eligible 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment, regardless of disadvantage or disability. Mechanisms that record the number of disabled young people participating were not included within the initial design of Kickstart, however disability status is recorded on the wider Universal Credit systems.

The information requested is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and in some cases being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme who have a disability or health condition and will do this as part of the evaluation. The evaluation will include surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants. It will look at their experiences within their Kickstart job and track changes in views, attitudes and employment status. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.


Written Question
Universal Credit
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: Diana Johnson (LAB - Kingston upon Hull North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support universal credit beneficiaries to obtain employment that is sufficiently well-paid to enable them to offset the ending of the £20 uplift by working two additional hours each week.

Answered by Will Quince

Universal Credit is a benefit where the amount received by claimants and the way this fluctuates in line with earnings will depend on individual household circumstances. This range of circumstances will affect how increased earnings for entering or progressing in work will translate into a rise in net income.

The National Living Wage is currently £8.91 an hour for workers aged over 23, where 2 hours in work should mean gross earnings of nearly £20; many individuals will receive an hourly pay rate greater than this.

In Universal Credit, those with children or limited capability for work are entitled to a Work Allowance of either £293 or £515 a month. This means that the taper rate does not apply to their earnings below this level and they do not see any reduction in their Universal Credit award As a consequence, many claimants can keep all their earnings from their first several hours of 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.


Written Question
Universal Credit: Inverclyde
15 Sep 2021

Questioner: Ronnie Cowan (SNP - Inverclyde)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the planned removal of the £20 per week uplift to the standard allowance of universal credit on claimants in Inverclyde constituency.

Answered by Will Quince

No impact assessment has been made.

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.

The latest poverty figures (2019/20) demonstrate that absolute poverty rates (both before and after housing costs) for working-age adults in working families have fallen since 2009/10. In 2019/20, 8% of working age adults in working families were in absolute poverty (before housing costs), compared to 9% in 2009/10.

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.

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.