David's House Notes

20th November 2017

It would be fair to say that recent weeks have not been the calmest in Westminster.  Allegations of wrongdoing (of varying degrees of seriousness) have been made against figures in all political parties.  The Brexit negotiations are entering into a key stage.  And we are in the run-up to the autumn budget.

Taken together, this can lead to a somewhat febrile atmosphere.  However, the reality for most MPs and ministers is that the routine work continues.

In my capacity as Works & Pensions Secretary, a lot of my focus has been on the introduction of Universal Credit.  I will probably return to this issue in the next couple of months.  Universal Credit Full Service will be rolled out in Watford and Three Rivers in December.

Contrary to what you may have seen on the media, the early signs are that Universal Credit is helping people to get into work and progress in work.  It is a major reform – six existing benefits, including Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and Housing Benefit are merged into one payment.

This should help ensure that people are always rewarded for working more so that they become less dependent on benefits.  We are introducing this slowly (we won’t be finished until 2022), and making changes along the way.

As ever, working life is a combination of ministerial and constituency responsibilities.  An example of this was Remembrance Sunday.  Along with other members of the Cabinet, I attended the service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.  Then, as soon as the parade was completed, it was a dash back to St Mary’s, Rickmansworth for the main service in Three Rivers.

On the constituency front, the big issue continues to be the Metropolitan Line Extension, which I covered last month.  I hope to be able to update you further on that shortly.


I’m not currently a Member of Parliament as Parliament has been dissolved until after the General Election on 12th December 2019. This website is for reference of my work when I was a Member of Parliament.

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