Briefing: Welfare Reform Bill - Commons Report Stage and Third Reading

By: Anne Baxendale  Published: June 2011


Summary

The Bill contains very little detail but instead enables the Secretary of State to make fundamental changes to the benefits system via secondary legislation, where the changes will be subject to little parliamentary scrutiny. We welcome the Government‟s decision to table amendments making the housing clauses of the Bill subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, but we are disappointed to note that this only applies to the first set of regulations tabled and not to subsequent ones. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has also failed to produce detailed proposals for key elements of the Bill, including how housing costs will be recognised under Universal Credit, or under Pension Credit when claimants are no longer of working age.

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