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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Welfare Reform Bill NOW AT THE LORDS.

The House of Lords will start deliberations on 13th 


September on the Welfare Reform Bill.


The general debate on all aspects of the Bill takes 


place on 13th September. A List of expected 


speakers, updated regularly, can be found on the 


Lords Government Whips Office website.


Summary of the Bill

The Bill provides for the introduction of a "Universal 



Credit" to replace a range of existing means-tested 


benefits and tax credits for people of working age, 


starting from 2013.

The Bill follows the November 2010 White Paper, 


"Universal Credit: welfare that works" which set out 


the Coalition Government's proposal for reforming 


welfare to improve work incentives, simplify the 


benefits system and tackle administrative 


complexity.


Besides introducing Universal Credit and related 


measures, the Bill makes other significant changes 


to the benefits system.


Key Areas being:

Introducing Personal Independence Payments to 



replace the current Disability Living Allowance.



Restricting Housing Benefit entitlement for Social 


Housing Tenants whose accommodation is larger 


than they need.



Up rates Local Housing Allowances by the 


Consumer Price index.



Amends the forthcoming Statutory Child 


Maintenance Scheme.



Limits the payment of contributory Employment and 


Support Allowance to a 12 month period.



Caps the total amount of benefit that can be claimed.


During the Committee Stage, the Government 


amended the Bill to provide for the establishment of 


a Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.


Many of these items are controversial to say the 


least.



You need to email the Lords and get active on this 


with any objections as the Lords START on 


ratifications/ discussions etc 


on 13th September.

1 comment:

  1. DRAFT LETTER:

    Dear (insert Lord or Baroness' name)

    Regarding The Welare Reform Bill:

    I am writing to you as a (insert situation) to set out my main concerns about this bill and ask you to support me by speaking out in the House.

    There are many aspects that concern me greatly. The abolishment of tax credits, most alarmingly the complete lack of help towards childcare costs. I believe this will not make work pay, but instead make it more difficult to manage financially for all parents.

    The introduction of Personal Independence Payments to replace the current Disability Living Allowance. I believe that the introduction of just two care rates will prevent many people who need extra help from receiving it. I am also very concerned that the new system for entitlement for PIPs will prevent genuinely disabled people, such as double amputees, from receiving any financial help.

    The benefit cap will, I believe, plunge thousands of people into poverty and force many to move to unsuitable accommodation, lose valuable support networks and private landlords will evict tenants on benefits in favour of employed tenants, thus a rise in homelessness will occur.

    The under occupations charges against Housing Benefit awards are equally punitive. And will force many to move from their communities

    Non dependent charges changes are also punitive.

    Universal Credit paid in full to tenants will place huge financial risks on rental flows to social landlords thereby affecting services that all tenants can receive.

    The Housing Impacts of this bill are undesirably draconian, and the impact is potentially immensely negative to society.

    The changes proposed to the Child Maintenance Scheme will certainly prevent many children living in lone parent families from ever climbing out of poverty. They are penalised from the moment their parents access the service and throughout the time the service is used. The government said that there would be no losers. It seems to me that there will be millions of losers, most of them children.

    The Social Fund has been a lifesaver for many claimants for a long time. It has enabled people to buy essential appliances for the home that they would otherwise be unable to afford, such as a washing machine, a bed, a cooker. The government wishes to abolish this service and replace it with a loan that the applicant will pay interest on. Currently social fund loans are interest free. Millions will be forced into enormous debt on very low incomes. That cannot be considered fair.

    Iain Duncan Smith claims that he wants to 'make work pay'. Sadly, his Welfare Reform Bill is not going to make work pay for millions. Reducing someone's standard of living to a level where it is impossible to survive whether they work or not will not enable that to happen. Punishing the disabled, couples that separate, their children and their futures is not going to help anyone, least of all the tax payer, who will be picking up the tab for health issues that arise, the cost of homelessness and a generation of children with no prospects and no hope.

    I urge you to oppose the bill, make it fairer on the people and help save many from a life of poverty and social destruction.

    Yours Sincerely, YOUR NAME & ADDRESS

    ReplyDelete