Remaining stages of Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill

21 January 2013

MPs debated the remaining stages of the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill in the House of Commons on Monday 21 January 2013.

No amendments to the Bill were made during Committee stage while Third Reading was agreed on division (305 votes to 246). The Bill will now move to the Lords for consideration.

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. Second reading of the Bill took place on 8 January 2013.

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 is the Committee stage of a bill?

Committee stage is where detailed examination of the Bill takes place. It usually starts within a couple of weeks of a Bill’s second reading, although this is not guaranteed.

Most Bills are dealt with in a Public Bill Committee.

A minority of Bills are dealt with by a Committee of the Whole House, which takes place on the floor of the House of Commons, with every MP able to take part.

What happens after committee stage?

Once committee stage is finished, the Bill returns to the floor of the House of Commons for its report stage.

What are report stage and third reading of a bill?

The report stage gives MPs an opportunity, on the floor of the House, to consider any further amendments (proposals for change) to a Bill which has been examined in a public bill committee or on the floor of the House.
 
There is no set time period between the end of committee stage and the start of the report stage.

What happens at report stage?

All MPs may speak and vote, for lengthy or complex Bills the debates may be spread over several days. All MPs can suggest amendments to the Bill or new clauses (parts) they think should be added.

What happens after report stage?

Report stage is usually followed immediately by debate on the Bill's third reading.

What happens at third reading?

Debate on the Bill is usually short, and limited to what is actually in the Bill, rather than, as at second reading, what might have been included. Amendments (proposals for change) cannot be made to a Bill at third reading in the Commons.
 
At the end of the debate, the House decides (votes on) whether to approve the third reading of the Bill.

What happens after third reading?

If the Bill started in the Commons it goes to the House of Lords for its first reading.

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More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, Employment and training, Social security and pensions, Benefits administration, Working age benefits, Unemployment, Commons news, Bill news

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