This House of Commons Briefing Paper provides background to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill’s provisions; summarises the key measures; and includes relevant comment. The Bill is scheduled to receive its Second Reading on 20 July 2015.
This note presents a summary of the Summer Budget 2015. This note provides an overview of the main Budget measures (see below), along with analysis of the forecasts, changes to the fiscal rules, changes to welfare, the National Living Wage, and public spending.
Following an article by the Prime Minister’s in the Financial Times on 27 November 2013 in which he said he shared concerns about the impact of lifting transitional restrictions on the right of Romanian and Bulgarian right to work in the UK from 1 January 2014, the Government has introduced a raft of measures “to tighten up our EEA migration rules to ensure our welfare system is not taken advantage of.”
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people of working age. Following its introduction for new claims in April 2013 there were problems with the claims process, with some claimants waiting six months or more for a decision. The previous Government said that, as a result of actions it was taking, by autumn 2014 no PIP claimant would have to wait more than six months for an assessment and by the end of 2014 no one would have to wait more than 16 weeks.
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 requires the Government to commission an independent review of how the Personal Independence Payment assessment is working. The first report of the Independent Review, led by Paul Gray, was published on 17 December 2014. It makes recommendations aimed at improving the claimant experience, the use of evidence, and the effectiveness of the assessment.
In his keynote speech on immigration on 28 November 2014, the Prime Minister set out plans to secure agreement on changes to European law on free movement of persons in order to allow the UK to, among other things, deny EEA migrants in-work benefits for four years and prevent Child Benefit being paid for children living abroad. Proposals to further restrict EEA migrants’ access to benefits have also been put forward by Labour and by the Liberal Democrats.
Examines the Smith Commission’s proposals to devolve responsibility to the Scottish Parliament for certain key benefits, such as disability and carers' benefits. It also looks at the Draft Scotland Clauses in this area.
The Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) Bill is a Private Members’ Bill presented by Christopher Chope. The Bill makes provision “to restrict the entitlement of non-UK Citizens from the European Union and the European Economic Area to taxpayer-funded benefits.” The Bill provides that the restrictions on entitlement are “notwithstanding the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972.”
Cold Weather Payments are made from the Social Fund to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather. The amount is £25 a week for eligible benefit claimants.
Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to a number of serious diseases. People suffering from certain conditions may be able to pursue a civil claim for damages against one or more employers responsible for exposing them to asbestos negligently and/or in breach of a statutory duty. Compensation may also be available under schemes administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
In the event Scotland becoming an independent country, the Scottish and Westminster governments would have to address two main issues with regard to welfare provision: how to deliver benefits and tax credits in the initial transitional period following independence; and how the two countries' systems should relate to each other in the longer term.