Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Liam Byrne, responded on behalf of the Opposition.
A reasoned amendment to the second reading was negatived on division (262 votes to 328).
Second reading was agreed on division (324 votes to 268).
Summary of the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill
Social security legislation requires the Secretary of State to review benefit levels each year to determine whether they have retained their value relative to prices.
For most benefits annual uprating is not mandatory, but historically governments have exercised their discretion by increasing the principal means-tested working-age benefits each April in line with prices. Since 2011 the measure used has been the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
In the Autumn Statement on 5 December 2012, the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed limiting increases in most working-age benefits to 1 per cent a year for three years from 2013-14.
The Bill amends primary legislation to enable the decisions on uprating in 2014-15 and 2015-16 to be implemented.
Progress of the Bill
The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 20 December 2012.
Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill and find out how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.
House of Commons Library analysis
The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial. The Library has published a briefing paper for second reading.
The Library has also produced a standard note setting out how the new rates for the 2013 benefit uprating are calculated.
What happens next?
Following second reading a programme motion was agreed. The Bill will be considered by a committee of the whole House. Committee stage, report and third reading will take place in one day.
Remaining stages are expected to take place on Monday 21 January 2013.
Image: PA / Dominic Lipinski