Welfare Reform Bill Goes Through Lords

The Welfare Reform Bill passed through the House of Lords at the end of January 2012. The Government was defeated on 7 counts and the following amendments were made-
 Benefit cap– exclude child benefit from the Cap. The Cap is due for introduction in April 2013 and will be set at the average household working salary.
 Employment and Support Allowance( C)- Extending it to 24 months, exempting cancer patients and keeping ESA (in youth). The Bill had previously proposed a reduction to 12 months.
 Charges for Child Support- exempt some single parents from being charged between £50 and £100 upfront to use the Child Support Agency.
 Universal Credit– social tenant spare room(s) penalty only to apply to those with 2 or more spare bedrooms.
 PIP- lower rate shall be no less than two-thirds of the higher rate.
The House of Commons will now decide which amendments, if any, it will ke

The government has announced the following concessions-
 PIP- there will be a 3 month qualifying period and the health condition or disability must be expected to last for a further 9 months.
 PIP– people in care homes will be entitled to the mobility component so long as they satisfy the qualifying conditions.
 PIP– two independent reports will be now be conducted into the working of PIP; at two years and four years after it starts

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