[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2006, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Welfare Reform Bill
AIM
This bill amounts to a radical shake-up of the welfare system, focusing mainly on incapacity benefit

MAIN PROVISIONS
TIMETABLE
Responsible department: Dept of Work and pensions
Origin: House of Commons
Introduced: 4 July 2006
Second reading: 24 July 2006
  • Creates a new benefit, the Employment and Support Allowance, which replaces exisiting Incapacity Benefit
  • Assessment for eligibilty would take place over a longer period - probably 13 weeks - incl a medical test to establish capability for work and "work-related activity"
  • The new benefit may require the recipient to participate in "work-related activity" - such as health assessments and interview workshops - if they are deemed to be capable of doing so, and have only a "limited capability for work"
  • If the recipient is deemed to have a "limited capability for work-related activity" as well as work itself, they will receive benefits automatically
  • Benefit for the above category of recipient will be increased
  • Includes a number of welfare reforms e.g.benefit fraud, housing benefit
  • New regulations will not apply to current recipients of incapacity benefit

    BACKGROUND
  • Removes need for people to have a National Insurance contribution record to receive incapacity benefit, and for people taken ill whilst at work to have been off work for 28-weeks
  • Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton has addressed backbench fears that people on incapacity benefit may be forced back to work or be penalised for not taking part in "work-related activity", by leaving the clause on those activities open to debate
  • Conservatives have not yet revealed their policy on the subject, but have suggested "supported employment" as a route back to work
  • The Liberal Democrats are critical of the means-testing being introduced into the benefits system, but are generally supportive of government attempts to encourage people to return to work




  • FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
    Has China's housing bubble burst?
    How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
    Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

    PRODUCTS & SERVICES

    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific