The purpose of the Act is to:
Further reform the welfare and benefit systems to improve support and incentives for people to move from benefits into work and to provide greater choice and control for disabled people. The bill is closely linked with the child poverty bill; and was preceded by a response to the Green Paper “No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility” which consulted on options to modernise the benefit system, delivering value for money for the taxpayer while providing support for people at the time they need it most. The changes will also focus on promotion of personal responsibility and independence, making clearer the relationship between the support people can receive and the expectations of them to participate fully in society.
The main elements of the Act are:
- Measures to better enable people to take advantage of the
considerable help on offer to them and where appropriate,
to undertake work related activities to help them move closer to finding employment, balanced by consideration of their individual circumstances.
- A range of measures which strengthen the benefit contract between
the individual and society – the individual’s right to support in
exchange for clear personal responsibility for improving their own
- Enactment of the requirement for joint birth registration set out in the White Paper – “Joint birth registration: recording responsibility” published in June 2008
- A number of measures to strengthen the requirements of non resident
parents to contribute to their children’s upbringing, as part
of a package which champions personal responsibility in the welfare
- Measures to modernise and simplify the benefit system, ensuring that
support provides help at the time and in the manner most needed.
The main benefits of the Act are:
- Giving disabled people greater choice and control;
- Strengthening parental responsibility;
- Reducing welfare dependency;
- Greater requirements to undertake work related activities in
preparation for work;
- Increasing personal responsibility within the welfare system;
- Delivering value for money for the taxpayer.