“The tax and benefits system will be made fairer and simpler.”
The purpose of the Bill is to:
- Simplify the benefits system in order to improve work incentives.
The main benefits of the Bill would be:
- Making the benefits system less complex.
- Improving work incentives.
- Getting the five million plus people languishing on benefits into work and out of poverty.
- Reducing the scope for fraud and error.
The main elements of the Bill are:
- Removing the confusing complexity of the benefits system, which too often leaves people afraid to make any change to their circumstances and can be a barrier to moving from benefits to work.
- Making people see a gain when entering work through simplifying the benefits system.
- Reducing the scope for fraud and error by making the benefits system simpler.
- Reducing unnecessary administration of benefits. Currently people can have overlapping entitlements or switch between different benefits – around 200,000 people a year cycle between Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Incapacity Benefit (IB/ Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
- Building Britain’s recovery – achieving full employment Feb 2010 – http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/building-britains-recovery.pdf
- Raising expectations and increasing support Dec 2009 – http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/fullversion.pdf
- No-one written off – reforming welfare to reward responsibility – July 2008 – http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/noonewrittenoff-complete.pdf
- Benefit Simplification Guide 2009 – http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/simplification-guide-best-practice.pdf
- Simplification and the customer – http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/simplification-and-the-customer.pdf
Existing legislation in this area includes:
- Welfare Reform Act 2009
- Welfare Reform Act 2007
- Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
Any benefit changes will apply to Great Britain. Provision or benefits in Northern Ireland is devolved and will require parallel legislation.