Department for Work and Pensions
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Amber Rudd: “Behind our supportive staff is a compassionate system”

After setting out a fresh approach to Universal Credit, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd will hear how the changes will help local people in Hastings.

Praising staff for their commitment to support Hastings residents, Amber Rudd will also host a summit with local charities, including Citizens Advice, to better understand how people in Hastings are dealing with benefit changes she is making to the welfare system.

There are 4.6 million people in work in the south east, with unemployment down 129,000 since 2010.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said:

I have long admired the hard work and the empathy of staff at the Hastings jobcentre. Like all staff across the country, they are also unafraid to make sure I hear the unvarnished view.

It’s the dedication and experiences of these staff who have helped inform the changes I have sought to make to Universal Credit.

The changes I am making ensure that behind our supportive staff, is a fairer and more compassionate system.

From scrapping any extension to the 2 child policy limit to stopping unnecessary reassessments for disabled pensioners, we are re-designing the welfare system so that it supports people who want to work and protects the vulnerable from poverty.

The visit is part of Amber Rudd’s fact finding tour about how Universal Credit is working for people across the country.

As a system that has to work for everyone, the Secretary of State’s tour is taking in the experiences of people living across the UK, from coastal communities like Hastings to rural towns and cities, including Taunton and Stoke-on-Trent.

Today’s (15 March 2019) Hastings visit follows the announcement this week that benefit claimants in Harrogate will be the first to move from old style benefits to Universal Credit.

Amber Rudd has already announced changes designed to make Universal Credit fairer, including pilot schemes to provide more frequent payments for new claimants, a new online system for private landlords and a more flexible approach to childcare provisions.

And earlier this month Amber Rudd announced new measures to support disabled people, including stopping unnecessary reassessments for disabled pensioners.

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