COMMONS

MPs debate welfare reform e-petition

27 February 2014

On Thursday 27 February, MPs took part in a debate on a motion relating to the effects of welfare reform on sick and disabled people. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following representations from John McDonnell and Grahame M. Morris.

Watch the debate and read the transcript

John McDonnell opened the debate, which began at 11.21am.

This debate relates to the e-petition on the effects of welfare reform on disabled people.

Text of the Motion for debate

"That this House calls on the Government to commission an independent cumulative assessment of the impact of changes in the welfare system on sick and disabled people, their families and carers, drawing upon the expertise of the Work and Pensions Select Committee; requests that this impact assessment examine care home admissions, access to day care centres, access to education for people with learning difficulties, provision of universal mental health treatments, closures of Remploy factories, the Government’s contract with Atos Healthcare, IT implementation of universal credit, human rights abuses against disabled people, excess deaths of welfare claimants and the disregard of medical evidence in decision-making by Atos, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Tribunals Service; urges the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Education jointly to launch a consultation on improving support into work for sick and disabled people; and further calls on the Government to end with immediate effect the work capability assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association, to discontinue forced work under the threat of sanctions for people on disability benefits and to bring forward legislative proposals to allow a free vote on repeal of the Welfare Reform Act 2012."

How the subject was selected

The subject for this debate was determined by the Backbench Business Committee following representation from John McDonnell and Grahame M. Morris on 3, 10 December.

Backbench Business Committee

The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays at 3pm to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject, including those raised in e-petitions or national campaigns.

An MP must make a representation before the Committee for an e-petition or petition to be debated; e-petitions exceeding the Government's 100,000 signature threshold are not automatically allocated backbench time.

The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.

Further Information

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