20 January 2020 – AGM

Inaugural meeting of the new parliament to appoint members.


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

Also present:

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
  • Self-employment
  • 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.

Additional Actions

Turn2us have offered to compile a list of welfare benefits training for caseworkers.