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Iain Duncan Smith’s Welfare Reform Bill became law today marking an historic moment for the Coalition Government and delivering on his promise to restore the welfare system to one that is fair for society and will make work pay.

These are the biggest reforms for 60 years and promise to change the lives of millions of households, providing support to the most vulnerable people in society, with around 2.8 million low to middle income households better off and around 900,000 adults and children lifted out of poverty under Universal Credit.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:

"I'm delighted this Bill, that will fundamentally change people's lives, has received Royal Assent – this is an historic moment for the Coalition Government and for my department.

"This Bill reforms virtually every part of our welfare system and I look forward to implementing the changes our country badly needs.

"The Universal Credit will mean that work will pay for the first time, helping to lift people out of worklessness and the endless cycle of benefits. Whilst those people who need our help and support will know they will get it without question."

Universal Credit will, from October 2013, replace the current complex myriad of means-tested benefits with single benefit system.  It will be simpler for people to navigate and harder for people to defraud, but most importantly it will make work pay. No longer will it be possible to be better off on benefits than in work. 

The reforms, which also include introducing a £500 per week household benefit cap, a new Personal Independence Payment to replace Disability Living Allowance, tougher penalties for benefit fraudsters and introducing a new bedroom size criteria to make better use of our social housing stock will provide a welfare state fit for the 21 century that’s both fair to claimants and the taxpayer.

The Department for Work and Pensions will be contacting hundreds of thousands of claimants over the coming weeks and months to prepare them for the changes ahead.

Source: Department for Work and Pensions

Written by Matthew Abbott
Thursday, 08 March 2012 12:12

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