Welfare Reform Bill Evidence to the Public Bill Committee

Published on 17 March 2011

The Welfare Reform Bill is being scrutinised by the Public Bill Committee, to whom LITRG has submitted evidence on the Bill’s proposals for universal credit.

In addition Robin Williamson of LITRG gave oral evidence to the Committee on the evening of 22 March 2011.

PDF icon LITRG's evidence in chief gives a qualified welcome to the fact that universal credit will to some extent simplify the welfare systems by combining several benefits and tax credits in one. It will also be more generous than current DWP benefits, and more all-embracing than tax credits.

However, we are concerned that too much reliance is placed on real time information to establish entitlement, given current and prospective complications in the interactions between tax and benefits. The measure is intended to improve work incentives, though much of what is proposed on supporting disabled people, and the lack of any coherent strategy on passported benefits, could work against that goal.

Also we have strong reservations about the intended treatment of the self-employed under universal credit, in particular the proposal in the White Paper to deem self-employed workers to be earning an income from their business at least equal to the national minimum wage for the hours worked.

(17-03-2011)

Contact: Robin Williamson (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs)