Members of the Lords voted 229 to 213, with a government majority of 16, to reject Baroness Grey-Thompson's (Crossbench) amendment proposing a pilot of the new disability payments scheme during the latest round of detailed examination of the Welfare reform Bill on 17 January.
Lord Freud (Conservative and government spokesperson for Department of Work and Pensions) explained that: 'We have now commenced a formal consultation on the entire assesment criteria, including the weightings and entitlement thresholds which will last for 15 weeks. That gives disabled people and disabled representative groups the opportunity to tell us what they think the criteria will mean to them and their member and what amendments might be needed before we finalise regulations.'
He continued: 'we will limit the number of new claims for personal independence payment to a few thousand per month for the first few months of implementation...We will begin to reassess existing DLA [Disability Living Allowance] claimants in a co-ordinated way six-months after the initial implementation.'
Lord Freud acknowledged Lord Rix's (Crossbench) amendment for more independent reviews: 'Our revised proposal is that we legislate for two biennial independent reviews within the first four years of the implementation of PIP.'
Later in January, Members of the House are expected to discuss the cap of benefits a household of working age adults can receive and the introduction of a new additional payment called the 'self-care premium'.
Day five of report stage will be on Monday 23 January.
Catch up on day three (Wednesday 11 January)
The Lords rejected proposals by the government on day three Wednesday 11 January and voted to protect cancer patients and disabled people from restrictions on employment support allowance (ESA).
The Lords made three amendments: to extend the proposed one year limit for claiming ESA to a minimum two-year limit; to exempt people receiving cancer treatment from the time limit on receiving ESA.
Catch up on day two (Wednesday 14 December 2011)
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 (Monday 12 December 2011)
The first day of report stage was completed on Monday 12 December.
Welfare Reform Bill: Key areas
- The bill 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.
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.