Saturday, January 17, 2009

UK Welfare Reform Bill

The new Labour scheme >>> Making non-resident fathers pay without letting them be parents to their children

UK Welfare Reform Bill

The purpose of the Bill is to:

Further reform the welfare and benefit systems to improve support and incentives for people to move from benefits into work and to provide greater choice and control for disabled people. The bill is closely linked with the child poverty bill; and will be preceded by a response to the Green Paper “No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility” which consulted on options to modernise the benefit system, delivering value for money for the taxpayer while providing support for people at the time they need it most. The changes will also focus on promotion of personal responsibility and independence, making clearer the relationship between the support people can receive and the expectations of them to participate fully in society.

The main elements of the Bill are:
  • Measures to better enable people to take advantage of the considerable help on offer to them and where appropriate, to undertake training that is considered essential to finding employment;
  • A range of measures which strengthen the benefit contract between the individual and society – the individual’s right to support in exchange for clear personal responsibility for improving their own circumstances
  • Enactment of the requirement for joint birth registration set out in the White Paper – “Joint birth registration: recording responsibility” published in June 2008
  • A number of measures to strengthen the requirements of non-resident parents to contribute to their children’s upbringing, as part of a package which champions personal responsibility in the welfare system.
  • Measures to modernise and simplify the benefit system, ensuring that support provides help at the time and in the manner most needed.

The main benefits of the Bill are:
  • Giving disabled people greater choice and control;
  • Strengthening parental responsibility;
  • Reducing welfare dependency;
  • Greater requirements to undertake work, training or other activity in
    preparation for work;
  • Increasing personal responsibility within the welfare system;
  • Delivering value for money for the taxpayer.

Territorial Extent

Northern Ireland only

England and Wales

Scotland only


Making the most of your potential


The Government issued the Green Paper “No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility” in July.  Around 1100 responses were received and the Government will be responding shortly.

Other Actions

In addition to the proposals in the Bill, the Government is also
undertaking the following:

  • The introduction of the Employment and Support Allowance from October 2008, which focuses on supporting people into work and does not automatically assume that because a person has a significant health condition or disability they are incapable of work;
  • The Carers Review – “Carers at the heart of the 21st-century families and communities” was published 10 June 2008.
  • A review of Housing Benefit, conducted jointly with HM Treasury.

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