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Committee examines Universal Credit and the wait for a first payment

1 September 2020

The Work and Pensions Committee questions the National Audit Office and the Financial Conduct Authority as it continues its inquiry into Universal Credit and the wait for a first payment. 


Wednesday 2 September, virtual meeting

At 9.30am

Panel One

  • Gareth Davies, Comptroller and Auditor General, National Audit Office
  • Joshua Reddaway, Director, Work and Pensions, Value for Money, National Audit Office

Panel Two

  • Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director of Supervision – Retail and Authorisations, Financial Conduct Authority
  • Nisha Arora, Director of Consumer and Retail Policy, Financial Conduct Authority

The Committee will first hear from Comptroller and Auditor General Gareth Davies on the NAO’s report Universal Credit: getting to first payment, which was published in July and looked at DWP’s performance during the early stages of Universal Credit claims.

The second panel with FCA officials will focus on the principles governing lending in the consumer credit sector and how this compares to DWP’s approach to debt, including the system of advance payments in Universal Credit.

The Committee is also today publishing correspondence between Chair Stephen Timms MP and FCA chief executive Christopher Woolard. The FCA letter describes its approach to regulating the consumer credit sector and how it aims to prevent unaffordable lending.

The inquiry has been examining some of the options available for addressing the wait for a first payment in Universal Credit, which currently takes at least five weeks. The Committee has previously taken evidence from charities and support groups, policy experts and local authorities, and Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince MP.

Further information

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