Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Welfare Reform Bill is now an Act

I meant to inform comrades about this at the time and very remiss of me. The Welfare Reform Bill received Royal Assent on the 3rd May. It is now an Act. This is very bad news for welfare benefits provision.

Alongside the introduction of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) - to be launched in autumn 2008 - the Welfare Reform Act 2007 also provides for a new assessment of capacity for work in place of the current Personal Capability Assessment, involving revised activity descriptors and scores.

Work and Pensions Minister, Jim Murphy, said that 'it has always been our intention that there should be ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of the revised PCA' and that therefore each year for the first five years the Secretary of State will be required to lay an 'independent report' before Parliament on its operation'.

Just because it is now an Act doesn't mean we give up the fight against this pernicious, vicious and draconian Act....


AN said...

What campiagning is there against the act?

Louisefeminista said...

To be honest there hasn't been much and little involvement from the Left and Labour Movement overall.

There seems to be a bit more over Freud. But unfortunately, Welfare Reform Act has slipped off the radar. Majority of the campaigning has been done by disability rights orgs. There are plans in the pipeline but we need more involvement from the Left as it is not just some Act that has an impact on people with disabilities but on all of us.

Once I know more I will advertise the information. One being resolutions to TU conferences etc.

There is demoralisation on the Left but we could do with some solidarity over this. I would also urge comrades to look at the SWAN website as well (

Does that answer your question?

AN said...

To be honest, i don't understand the issue, and although you have dodne a good job explpaining, I am a little vague about whether it affects disabled psople who are in work.

Or how it impacts upon disabled people getting work.

These are the angles that would make it easier to rasie in the unions (GMB for examlpe organises REMPLOY workers)

Louisefeminista said...

Other measures contained in the Act include -

The contracting out of welfare to work services, including responsibility for carrying out work-focused interviews;

New 'work-focused health-related assessments', action plans, and a requirement to take part in 'work-related activity';

The national roll out of local housing allowance to the private rented sector;

The piloting of housing benefit sanctions for people who refuse support following eviction for anti-social behaviour;


miscellaneous provisions relating, for example, to information sharing between the DWP and local authorities, local authority powers to investigate and prosecute benefit fraud, DLA and attendance allowance for under 16s

Overall, the claimants could potentially have their benefit chopped if they don't comply with the regulations (Section 17 - Disqualification)such as attending a work-focussed appointment.

I wrote something on this re: TUC Social Policy Forum, it goes into more depth.

Is that any help?

Louisefeminista said...

Sorry if this hasn't been explained well.

I suppose due to my work I forget others don't know the specifics of the changes to welfare reform. Again sorry.

AN said...

It is exaplined well, I am just trying to think through how we can raise it as a trade union issue

George Dutton said...

This might help out...

Copy and paste into address bar.