Lincoln MP Karl McCartney questioned the Department for Work and Pensions during a House of Commons debate, but it was his floral shirt that grabbed the attention of most, including the Speaker himself.
Mr McCartney spoke in the House of Commons on Monday, December 13, as part of a debate on proposed Universal Credit taper rate reductions, which, according to the Department for Work and Pensions, will see 1.9 million households keep an average of £1,000 a year extra in income.
The Lincoln MP spoke for his constituents in the commons, asking if the DWP would commit to helping employers in low-pay sectors to spread the message of this taper rate reduction.
He said: “Unlike the legacy system, which has in-built cliff edges, universal credit ensures that it always pays to take on more hours.
“Will my honourable friend commit to working with employers, especially those in my constituency of Lincoln, in low-pay sectors to ensure that they can help their employees understand that?”
This week I questioned DWP over their support for local employers to help UC claimants earn more by taking on more hours, which would help to plug the labour shortage. He also liked my shirt! pic.twitter.com/kIKvtncmv6
— Karl McCartney (@karlmccartney) December 14, 2021
In response to McCartney’s question, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for work and pensions, David Rutley MP, addressed the issue at hand before saving compliments for the Lincoln MP’s fetching attire.
“Throughout our job network, our employer partnership teams and employment advisers are working closely with local employers to ensure that they help claimants understand how best to benefit from the recent positive changes to universal credit taper rates and work allowances.
“I am sure that my honourable friend, with his fantastic shirt, will assist with his characteristic energy with this important task.”
It didn’t seem that this view was shared by the House, however, as Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle jovially responded: “I think you need to go to Specsavers, Minister.”
The exchange certainly raised a few laughs inside the House of Commons, and Mr McCartney appears to have taken it in good jest from the Speaker.