Response to DWP Statement 09/11/20

Yesterday I asked the DWP Secretary to commit to a permanent increase in Universal Credit, and whether she would support all disabled people by extending the uplift to all legacy benefits.

In 2019 the UN Special Rapporteur for Poverty highlighted that disabled people had been hardest hit by a decade of Tory austerity.

Instead of hounding disabled people onto Universal Credit, with its appalling 5 week wait, Thérèse Coffey should extend the £20 a week uplift to legacy benefits – and make it permanent!


Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire) (SNP)

Last year, the UN special rapporteur on poverty highlighted that disabled people have been among the hardest hit by 10 years of this Government’s austerity agenda. They are particularly reliant on legacy benefits which, unlike universal credit, have not been increased by £20 a week during the covid crisis. Will the Secretary of State commit to a permanent increase in universal credit, and support disabled people by extending the uplift to all legacy benefits?

Dr Coffey

People can move to universal credit, apart from that small cohort of people who currently receive the severe disability premium, and they will be able to make that move from January. It is important that people check to see whether they will be better off, but we think that the vast majority of recipients will be better off on universal credit than they are on legacy benefits, and we will do what we can to help them in that journey.