What's in the Welfare Reform Bill?

The Government has pledged the biggest shake-up of the benefits system in 60 years, saying that 2.7 million households will be better off and almost a million people will be taken out of poverty.

Ministers published the Welfare Reform Bill, which will include:



* Universal Credit, which the Government said will make more than two-and-a-half million of the poorest people in Britain better off by making work pay.



"This will finally make it easier for people to see they will be consistently and transparently better off for each hour they work and every pound they earn," said the Department for Work and Pensions;



* The Personal Independence Payment which will replace Disability Living Allowance with a new, more "transparent and sustainable" benefit, supported by a new assessment of individuals to determine who will benefit most from additional support;



* By next year the Government will have new powers to tackle the problem of fraud and error, which under the current system was described as "highly susceptible", costing the taxpayer around £5.2 billion a year. The new measures include tougher "one-strike, two-strike and three-strike" rules, with a benefit ban of three years for people who offend repeatedly.



A single investigation service and a new mobile regional taskforce will be set up to investigate every claim in high fraud areas, along with so-called civil penalties of £50 for more minor offences;



* The Government said it was not reasonable that households on out-of-work benefits should receive a greater income from the state than the average working household receives in wages, announcing a cap, linked to average weekly earnings, which will limit the amount of benefits a household can receive;



* Contributory Employment Support Allowance (ESA) will be limited to 12 months for those who are able to prepare for work. Those with low or no other sources of income would qualify for income-related ESA once their contributory ESA had ended.



Ministers said this underlined the principle that ESA claimants are expected to move towards the workplace and will reduce long-term inactivity or benefit dependency.



Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: "The welfare system was created to meet the demand for a fairer society. Today, this Bill will seek to restore the welfare system to those founding principles.



"Our reforms will end the absurdity of a system where people too often get rewarded for doing the wrong thing, and those who strive to do the best by their families get penalised.



"The publication of the Welfare Reform Bill will put work, rather than hand-outs, at the heart of the welfare system. It will ensure that we continue to provide appropriate support for those genuinely unable to work, as we must and as we should, and it will provide a fair deal for the taxpayer."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there