On 19th October 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question about families with children on Universal Credit:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of Universal Credit on the employment outcomes for families with children and other new claimants in full service areas.
Baroness Buscombe: Universal Credit is transforming lives across the country. People on Universal Credit put more effort into finding work and move into work faster. Record numbers of people are in work, unemployment is at a record low and once it is fully rolled out, Universal Credit will boost employment by around 250,000.
The Government recognises that high childcare costs can affect decisions to take up paid work or increase working hours. To help overcome this barrier to employment we increased the level of support for childcare costs within Universal Credit from 70 per cent to 85 per cent. This support is available to lone parents and couples who are in paid work regardless of the number of hours they work.
Support for childcare costs in Universal Credit aligns with the Government’s wider childcare offer, in particular the additional 15 hours’ of free childcare available to working parents of three and four year olds from September and the gradual introduction of Tax-Free Childcare for working parents of children aged up to 12 and disabled children aged up to 17.