Thursday 28 April 2011

The Welfare Reform Bill Committee and Amendments

The Welfare Reform Bill. which includes provision to abolish DLA and to time-limit ESA, is currently at Committee stage of Parliamentary scrutiny, where amendment to the Bill are made most easily. The trouble is that seats on the Committee are assigned according to party strength, so a majority Government can always stop amendments if they want to. Getting amendments through requires outside pressure to convince the Government that the Bill will not pass through Parliament if it is not amended, or that a Government member on the Committee is persuaded to vote with the opposition due to that outside pressure.

Hywel Williams, the MP for Arfon in North Wales, has decided to apply that pressure in the form of two Early Day Motions: 1755 on Time-limiting ESA and 1756 on Abolition of DLA. These EDMs succinctly present the arguments against abolishing DLA and time-limiting ESA. There are a number of excellent MPs on the Welfare Reform Bill Committee, but too few to defeat the Government. The hope is that these EDMs will apply the necessary pressure to get the relevant amendments passed.

Write to your MP by e-mail asking them to support these EDMs:

Dear Member of Parliament,

Two Early Day Motions have been tabled that pertain to provisions made in the Welfare Reform Bill regarding benefits that are related to illness and disability. The EDMs are intended to demonstrate that the House feels strongly on these matters and is pressing the Government for relevant amendments to the Bill before you vote on it.

The EDMs are by no means a comprehensive discussion of all points relating to disability in the Bill, but are intended to bring the most serious flaws to your attention. The EDMs read:


* Session: 2010-11
* Date tabled: 27.04.2011
* Primary sponsor: Williams, Hywel
* Sponsors:

That this House is deeply concerned by the abolition of disability living allowance (DLA) and its replacement with the personal independence payment (PIP) as provided for in the Welfare Reform Bill; believes that the Government is yet to make a convincing case for reform, as noted by academics, campaigners and the Social Security Advisory Committee; notes that, whilst there may be a case for objective evidence-gathering, the Government's plans for a face-to-face assessment will disadvantage some claimants and will mean that specialist evidence is not given due priority; further believes that the Government is misguided in its claim that PIP will be better targeted than DLA as the reforms involve a simplification of the benefit rates of payment which reduces the ability to personalise payment according to need; further notes that the Government's target of a 20 per cent. reduction in DLA expenditure, as announced in the 2010 Budget, will lead to up to 620,000 disabled people being denied support with no justification of this policy forthcoming; and urges the Government to remove from the bill all provisions relating to DLA reform.



* Session: 2010-11
* Date tabled: 27.04.2011
* Primary sponsor: Williams, Hywel
* Sponsors:

That this House notes with extreme concern the provisions for time-limiting contribution-related employment and support allowance (ESA) to 12 months included in the Welfare Reform Bill; recognises that ESA claimants will be means-tested for income-related ESA when this period has elapsed, and that an ESA claimant with a spouse or partner working over 24 hours a week will not then be eligible for the benefit; believes that time-limiting ESA isa serious disincentive to work for the partners and carers of ESA claimants, leading to a situation where unemployment is more financially sustainable than work; further believes that time-limiting ESA punishes working families where one member claims ESA; and urges the Government to remove time-limiting ofESA from the bill prior to its Third Reading.

I hope that you will feel able to support these statements.

Yours sincerely,

Journalists, please contact


Anonymous said...

My MP (Conservative) says she wont sign EDMs

Waste of space woman!

Anonymous said...

Same as, conservative lady mp. No help whatsoever!

Anonymous said...

Mine didnt even bother to reply - as usual.

EVERY conservative member of parliament I have come across has their tape on replay - They al if they say anything say the same crap!

This is not OUR Govt - This is like aliens from another land coming in and taking over - we are doomed!

Becca_Boot said...

No reply so far - just sent it again directly to his parliamentary email address in case the site I used before failed to send it.

He's a tory but has a history of rebelling so maybe there is hope...