Report from Meeting of 20th January 2020
The APPG on Universal Credit (UC) is a cross-party group, which was established in order for Members of Parliament and Peers of all parties to be able to come together to discuss their experiences of UC and those of their constituents, to receive advice and support from various agencies, to share best practice at supporting claimants and monitor this critical policy as it is rolled out.
On 20th January 2020, the APPG held its inaugural meeting. The following parliamentarians were present:
Debbie Abrahams MP
Chris Bryant MP
Kirsten Oswald MP
Anne McLaughlin MP
Stephen Timms MP
Alison McGovern MP
Stuart McDonald MP
Lilian Greenwood MP
Marion Fellows MP
Jonathan Gullis MP
Nick Fletcher MP
Ian Byrne MP
Emma Hardy MP
Rosie Duffield MP
Ruth Cadbury MP
Baroness Elspeth Howe of Idlicote
Baroness Ruth Lister of Buttersett
Josephine Whitehouse – Office of Mike Kane MP
Matthew Cooper – Office of Luke Pollard MP
Tom Sefton – Office of Bishop of Durham
Thomas Cave – Turn2us (secretariat)
Liam Evans – Turn2us (secretariat)
The APPG elected the following Parliamentarians as Officers
Chair: Debbie Abrahams MP
Secretary: Jonathan Gullis MP
Treasurer: Chris Bryant MP
Anne McLaughlin MP
Peter Aldous MP
Baroness Ruth Lister
The following Parliamentarians expressed a desire to be members:
Jane Hunt MP
Helen Hayes MP
Stephen Flynn MP
Beth Winter MP
Yvonne Fovargue MP
Angela Crawley MP
Paula Barker MP
Rachel Hopkins MP
Baroness Mary Goudie
Baroness Natalie Bennett
Bishop (Christopher) of Portsmouth
Bishop (Paul) of Durham
Baroness (Diana) Warwick of Undercliffe
Parliamentarians expressed a desire for sessions on the following topics
- An initial session as an introduction to Universal Credit for new members
- 5 week wait
- Including the impact this has on going into employment for short-term contracts
- Universal Credit and Mental Health
- Universal Credit and Housing
- Rent arrears
- Administration of alternative payments
- Supported Housing
- Local Housing Allowance rates
- Session on the managed migration pilot
- Baroness Lister believes there may be an interim report in the spring
- Universal Credit and pay
- How does fluctuating pay affect somebody on Universal Credit?
- How do ad-hoc payments or one-off bonuses affect Universal Credit?
- Effect on second earners
- Universal Credit’s impact on foodbank usage
- In-work conditionality and sanctions
- Support into work
- How affective are workcoaches is supporting people into work?
- What support is offered at the Job Centre?
- What is the level of support for disabled people who may be able to work?
- How tailored is this to a claimant’s needs
- Universal Credit and Disability
The group will hold sessions approximately every 4-6 weeks.
The APPG may also hold an additional session for a play by Sharron Spice on her experience of claiming Universal Credit.
The group also discussed a session with the interim Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee but agreed it would be best to wait for the appointment of the new chair.
Turn2us have offered to compile a list of welfare benefits training for caseworkers.