Welfare Reform Bill so far

23 December 2011

The Welfare Reform Bill is currently in report stage. Two days of further scrutiny by the Lords has been completed

The Lords is expected to scrutinise the bill further in 2012. The third day of report stage is scheduled for 11 January.

(Business plans are provisional and subject to change).

What is the Welfare Reform Bill?

The current Welfare Reform Bill proposes major changes to the welfare system. The bill aims to deliver the commitment made in the Coalition Agreement and the Queen's Speech to the benefits and tax credits systems. 

A 'Universal Credit' is set to replace a range of existing means-tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age, starting from 2013.

The Bill was first introduced to Parliament on 16 February 2011 and follows the publication of the 'Universal Credit: welfare that works' White Paper in November 2010.

Catch up on day two

The Welfare Reform Bill completed its second day of report stage on Wednesday 14 December. The Lords successfully challenged the housing costs set by the Government with amendments made by Lord Best and backed by organisations like the national Housing Federation and Shelter.

Catch up on day one

The first day of report stage was completed on Monday 12 December.

Welfare Reform Bill: Key areas

  • It introduces Personal Independence Payments to replace the current Disability Living Allowance.
  • It restricts Housing Benefit entitlement for social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than needed.
  • It will up-rate Local Housing Allowance rates by the Consumer Price Index.
  • It amends the forthcoming statutory child maintenance scheme.
  • Payment of contributory Employment and Support Allowance is limited to a 12-month period.
  • The total amount of benefit that can be claimed will be capped.

Catch up on the Welfare Reform Bill

What is the report stage?

Report stage in the Chamber gives all Members of the Lords further opportunity to consider all amendments (proposals for change) to a bill. It usually starts at least 14 days after committee stage. It can be spread over several days (but usually fewer days than at committee stage).

Before report stage takes place

  • The day before report stage starts, amendments are published in a Marshalled List – in which all the amendments are placed in order.
  • On the day, amendments on related subjects are grouped together and a list (“groupings of amendments”) is published.

What happens at report stage?

  • Detailed line by line examination of the bill continues.
  • Votes can take place and any Member can take part.

What happens after report stage?

  • If the bill is amended it is reprinted to include all the agreed amendments.
  • The bill moves to third reading for the final chance for the Lords to debate and amend the bill.

More about the report stage

Further information

Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of a bill takes place during report stage.

Find out more about watching House of Lords debates.

 
Image: iStockphoto

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, Social security and pensions, Benefits administration, Benefits policy, Sickness, disability and carers' benefits, Working age benefits, House of Lords news, Lords news, Bill news

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