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26 March, 2021 Open access

Work and Pensions Committee seeks information about DWP’s plans for coronavirus-related measures that are due to expire in May 2021

Letter to Work and Pensions Secretary also asks for update on plans for universal credit managed migration in light of Harrogate pilot being paused until April 2022

Work and Pensions Committee Chair Stephen Timms has written to Work and Pensions Secretary Dr Thérèse Coffey to seek information about the DWP's plans for benefit measures introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that are due to expire in May 2021.

In a letter dated 24 March 2021, Mr Timms outlines a series of measures that are currently due to expire on 13 May 2021 -

Highlighting that, in its Roadmap out of lockdown which was published on 22 February 2021, the government makes it clear that the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme will 'continue into the summer', Mr Timms asks whether it is the DWP's intention that the benefit measures he outlines will expire as planned on 13 May 2021 and, if not, when the DWP plans to lay the statutory instruments necessary for any extension.

If however it is the case that the measures are to expire on 13 May 2021, Mr Timms requests information on why the expiry date is not connected to the government’s wider plans for supporting people to self-isolate when they need to in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In addition, Mr Timms seeks information about the DWP's plans for universal credit managed migration in light of the fact that - as stated in the Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR's) Economic and fiscal outlook: March 2021 - the planned pilot in Harrogate has been paused until April 2022.

Highlighting that the OBR’s costings show that managed migration will bring savings for the Department over the next six years, peaking at £180 million in 2023/2024, and that its assessment in 2020 explained that delays to managed migration result in lower spending because the costs for those who gain under universal credit and transitional protection paid to those who would lose out from a managed move to universal credit are postponed, Mr Timms asks -

Mr Timms concludes by saying that the Committee would be grateful for Dr Coffey's response to its questions by 8 April 2021.

Mr Timms' letter to Dr Coffey is available from parliament.uk