Public Bill Committees – Scrutiny Unit

Call for written evidence: Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill? If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

Aims of the Bill

Besides Universal Credit, the Bill proposes a number of other significant welfare reforms, including:

· introducing Personal Independence Payments to replace the current Disability Living Allowance (DLA);

· restricting Housing Benefit entitlement to social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need;

· up-rating Local Housing Allowance rates by the Consumer Prices Index; · amending the forthcoming statutory child maintenance scheme;

· time-limiting the payment of contributory Employment and Support Allowance to twelve months; and,

· capping the total amount of benefit that can be claimed. The Bill can be viewed on the Parliamentary website: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmbills/154/11154.i-v.html

The Explanatory Notes on the Bill are also available: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmbills/154/en/11154en.htm

On Wednesday 9 March the House of Commons debated the main principles of the Bill and decided that the Bill should be given its Second Reading.

The Bill has now been sent to a Public Bill Committee for scrutiny. http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/welfarereform.html

Deadline for submissions

The Committee is able to receive written evidence from Wednesday 9 March, when the Bill has passed the Second Reading Stage; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Thursday 10 May. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration. The Public Bill Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 22 March. *****************************************************************

Guidance on submitting written evidence

What should written evidence cover?

Your submission should address matters contained within the Bill and concentrate on issues where you have a special interest or expertise, and factual information of which you would like the Committee to be aware. It is helpful if the submission includes a brief introduction about you or your organisation. The submission should not have been previously published or circulated elsewhere. If you have any concerns about your submission, please contact the Scrutiny Unit (details below). How should written evidence be submitted? Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk. Please note that submissions sent to the Government department in charge of the Bill will not be treated as evidence to the Public Bill Committee. Submissions should be in the form of a Word document. A summary should be provided. Paragraphs should be numbered, but there should be no page numbering. Essential statistics or further details can be added as annexes, which should also be numbered. To make publication easier, please avoid the use of coloured graphs, complex diagrams or pictures. As a guideline, submissions should not exceed 3,000 words. You should also include a separate covering email containing the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for the submission. The submission should be dated. What will happen to my evidence? The written evidence will be circulated to all Committee Members to inform their consideration of the Bill. Most submissions will also be published. They will be posted on the internet as soon as possible after the Committee has started sitting, and will also be printed in hard copy at the end of the Committee’s deliberations. The Scrutiny Unit can help with any queries about written evidence.

Contact details are as follows:

Telephone: 020 7219 8387,

Email: scrutiny@parliament.uk

Fax: 020 7219 8381,

Post: Michelle Edney, Senior Executive Officer, Scrutiny Unit, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.

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