Welfare Reform and Work Bill

This bill contains a range of controversial measures relating to employment, social mobility, and poverty.

It contains

1. A duty to report to Parliament on:

  • Progress towards achieving full employment.
  • Progress towards achieving 3 million apprenticeships in England.
  • Progress with the Troubled Families programme (England). 


2.  The repeal ‘a number of key sections’ (according to the government) of the Child Poverty Act 2010:

 At the moment it is a statutory duty to measure and report on income poverty, but the Government has proposed scrapping it, replacing it with a duty to report on the number of workless households and children’s attainment at GCSE.

The name and remit of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission is changed so that it becomes only the Social Mobility Commission.


3. Changes to welfare benefits, tax credits and social housing rent levels:

The welfare/housing measures include: 

  • Lowering the benefit cap threshold (£26,000) and varying it between London (£23,000) and the rest of the UK (20,000)
  • A four year benefits freeze
  • Limiting support through Child Tax Credits/Universal Credit
  • The abolition of Employment and Support Allowance Work-Related Activity Component
  • Changes to conditionality for responsible carers under Universal Credit
  • Replacing Support for Mortgage Interest with Loans for Mortgage Interest
  • Reducing social housing rent levels by 1% in each year for four years from 2016-17.


Report stage takes place on 27 January.

On January 25, peers voted by a majority of 92 to amend the bill to make ministers report annually on income levels in the poorest families.


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