On 16 February 2011 the Welfare Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament. The Bill legislates for the biggest change to the welfare system for over 60 years, and introduces a wide range of reforms that aim to make the benefits and tax credits systems fairer and simpler.
The Bill aims to do this by:
- creating the right incentives to get more people into work by ensuring work always pays
- protecting the most vulnerable in our society
- delivering fairness to those claiming benefit and to the taxpayer.
The main elements of the Bill are:
- the introduction of Universal Credit to provide a single streamlined benefit that will ensure work always pays
- a stronger approach to reducing fraud and error with tougher penalties for the most serious offences
- a new claimant commitment showing clearly what is expected of claimants while giving protection to those with the greatest needs
- reforms to Disability Living Allowance, through the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment to meet the needs of disabled people today
- creating a fairer approach to Housing Benefit to bring stability to the market and improve incentives to work
- driving out abuse of the Social Fund system by giving greater power to local authorities
- reforming Employment and Support Allowance to make the benefit fairer and to ensure that help goes to those with the greatest need
- changes to support a new system of child support which puts the interest of the child first.
For full details, visit the DWP website