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.
- introduces Personal Independence Payments to replace the current Disability Living Allowance
- restricts Housing Benefit entitlement for social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need
- up-rates Local Housing Allowance rates 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.
Progress of the Bill
The Welfare Reform Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 16 February 2011 and received second reading on 9 March 2011. The Bill was considered in a Public Bill Committee between 22 March to 24 May 2011. The report stage and third reading took place on 15 June 2011.
The Bill was sent to the House of Lords for consideration. The Lords made amendments to the Bill and these were considered by the Commons on 1 February 2012.
Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Welfare Reform Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.
Proceedings on Lords amendments
MPs considered Lords amendments in the following order; 15, 19, 17, 18, 23, 47, 1, 2, 3, 4, 26, 73, 5-14, 16, 20-22, 24-25, 27-46, 48-72 and 74-110.
Lords amendments 15, 17, 18, 19 and 23 relate to Clause 51 (Period of entitlement to contributory allowance). Lords amendment 15 was disagreed to on a division (Ayes 324; Noes 265). Lords amendment 19 was amended by Amendment (a) and agreed to without a division. Lords amendment 17 was disagreed to on a division (Ayes 332; Noes 266). Lords amendment 18 was disagreed to on a division (Ayes 328; Noes 265). Lords amendment 23 was disagreed to without a division.
Lords amendment 47 relates to Clause 93 (Benefit Cap) and was disagreed to on a division (Ayes 334; Noes 251).
Lords amendment 1 was disagreed to on a division (Ayes 324; Noes 255). Lords amendment 2 was disagreed to on a division (Ayes 310; Noes 268). Lords amendments 3, 4 and 26 were disagreed to without a division. Lords amendment 73 was disagreed to on a division (Ayes 318; Noes 257).
Lords amendments 5-14, 16, 20-22, 24-25, 27-46, 48-72 and 74-110 were agreed to without a division.
Committee of Reason
The Commons appointed a Committee of Reason to draw up reasons to be assigned to the Lords as to why the Commons disagreed to their Amendments 1-4, 15, 17, 18, 23, 26, 47 and 73.
The Commons disagree to Lords Amendments 1-4, 15, 17, 18, 23, 26, 47 and 73 because it would alter the financial arrangements made by the Commons to the Bill.
The House of Lords will now consider the Reasons.
Watch and read the proceedings on Lords amendments and the views expressed by MPs on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard.
When a Bill has passed through third reading in both Houses it is returned to the first House (where it started) for the second House's amendments (proposals for change) to be considered.
Both Houses must agree on the exact wording of the Bill. There is no set time period between the third reading of a Bill and consideration of any Commons or Lords amendments.
If the Commons makes amendments to the Bill, the Lords must consider them and either agree or disagree to the amendments or make alternative proposals.
If the Lords disagrees with any Commons amendments, or makes alternative proposals, then the Bill is sent back to the Commons.
A Bill may go back and forth between each House (‘Ping Pong’) until both Houses reach agreement.
What happens after consideration of amendments?
Once the Commons and Lords agree on the final version of the Bill, it can receive Royal Assent and become an Act of Parliament (the proposals of the Bill now become law).