Following summer recess, at the start of this Parliamentary term I was moved from my role as PPS in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to PPS to Esther Mcvey in the Department for Work and Pensions. This is a really heavy weight department which will bring with it its own challenges but also prove really interesting.
At Conservative Party Conference this year, I took the opportunity to speak with Esther, who announced extra funding for our Citizen's Advice to help people through Universal Credit (UC).
Those people who need more help getting onto UC will be given the support and this has got to be done through an independent and trusted partner.
The support scheme will help claimants through every step of making a Universal Credit claim. It will offer people the comprehensive and practical support they need to get their first payment on time and be ready to manage it when it arrives.
Universal Support provides advice and assistance to help claimants manage their Universal Credit claim, with a focus on budgeting advice and digital support. Since 2017, Universal Support has been delivered by individual local authorities, funded by grants from DWP.
From April 2019 Citizens Advice will take on the responsibility for delivering a strengthened Universal Support service, a move which will ensure a consistent and streamlined service for claimants across the country.
We've done that significantly, we've got over 3.3 million people into work - want to help people up the career path, so you get into a job, you've got a career and how can DWP support you on that journey.
I look forward to working with Esther and the team at DWP in the upcoming Parliamentary session as we work to improve people's everyday lives.