Welfare Reform Bill, Second Reading, House of Commons
7 March 2011
Welfare Reform Bill Second Reading briefing ( 69kb)
Welfare Reform Bill Second Reading joint briefing ( 55kb)
In 2009/10 Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 7.1 million problems, an 18% increase on the previous year. Over 2 million of the 7.1 million problems were related to benefits and tax credits, an increase of 21% on the previous year. Citizens Advice works with all groups of benefit claimants and is therefore well placed to comment on the impact of the proposals in the Bill on all family types, and on people with a range of disabilities.
This Welfare Reform Bill heralds the biggest change to the welfare state since it began. Citizens Advice continues to support the Government’s overall aims to increase simplicity and fairness in the benefit system, and to ensure that work is an effective route out of poverty in Britain. We are concerned, however, that the Bill fails to demonstrate fully how these central aims will be achieved. We are also concerned that the current fiscal situation threatens to undermine these bold attempts at reform.