What Is Welfare Reform?
In March 2012 the (UK) Welfare Reform Act received Royal Assent. The Act brings into force a raft of changes to the Welfare Benefits system in the UK with the stated aims of:
- Creating the right incentives to get more people into work
- Protecting the most vulnerable in our society
- Delivering fairness to those claiming benefit and to the taxpayer
The changes introduced in the Welfare Reform Act have been described as the most far reaching changes in UK Welfare for 60 years.
The key changes include:
- The Benefits Cap
- The Under-occupancy Charge
- Changes to support for paying Council Tax
- In Scotland, the introduction of the Scottish Welfare Fund
- Introduction of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to replace DLA for working age claimants
- Universal Credit (which will be a ‘basket’ of benefits replacing Income Support, income-related Job Seekers’ Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, income-related Employment & Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, and Working Tax Credit.)
Whilst these matters are for the most part reserved to Westminster, the Scottish Parliament took the unprecedented step of withholding legislative consent (in part) to the UK Welfare Reform Act. This meant that the Scottish Parliament is now required to take responsibility for devolved welfare matters.
You can get information on the membership of this Committee – chaired by Michael McMahon MSP – via the Committee’s web pages.
What is EVOC doing?
EVOC will try to publish useful and up-to-date information on Welfare Reform on these pages and our resources pages. We will try to act as a conduit for information to and from Edinburgh’s Third Sector. If you have any information you think we ought to publish, please contact our Communications Team.
EVOC ran a series of Welfare Reform related thinkSpaces over the course of 2014 and 2015.
Websites to watch: