Debbie launches inquiry into the effects of the 2016 Welfare Reform & Work Act

Debbie launches inquiry into the effects of the 2016 Welfare Reform & Work Act

The inquiry focuses on the impact of the Act on children and disabled people

As chair of the the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Health in All Policies, I and fellow MPs have launched an inquiry into the actual impacts of the Welfare Reform and Work Act (WR&WA) 2016. The inquiry is focusing on how children and disabled people have been affected since the WR&WA was introduced nearly 3 years ago. It follows on from an earlier assessment in 2015 which tried to predict the range of potential impacts the act would have when it was implemented.

The first stage of the inquiry is a ‘call for evidence’.

Although key organisations will be contacted, individuals who may have been affected by the act are also invited to send in their evidence.

We’re currently inviting submissions of evidence to the Inquiry. Our focus is on how disabled people and children across the UK may have been affected by the different measures in the act. The call for evidence is open to anyone who has experienced the impact of the act on the their own or their family’s lives and health or who works in disability or welfare rights or anti-poverty and inequality organisations.

We particularly want to understand the impacts the act has had on child and disabled people’s health from different parts of the UK, so we would also like to hear from organisations involved in public health, child health or other disability charities.

After analysing this evidence the APPG will then hold an oral evidence session to question some of those who submitted evidence. The questions we would like answering and the measures in the act we wish to explore are available below.

Examples of the measures we will be exploring are the reduction of the benefit cap to £23,000 in London and £20,000 the rest of the UK, the ‘freeze’ in the value of certain benefits for 4 years and limiting support from child tax credit or the child element of Universal Credit to two children.

The 2015 inquiry raised considerable concerns about the potential impacts of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. It will be interesting to see how accurate our predictions were. Read the inquiry’s 2015 report here.

Submissions should respond to the following:

In the 3 years since the implementation of the Welfare Reform & Work Act (2016), what impact has it had on levels of the poverty, inequality and health experienced by children and disabled people in the UK?

We welcome submissions which supply evidence in response to the question, and in relation to:

1. The specific measures in the Act, including (but not exclusively):

  • The reduction of the benefit cap (to £23,000 in London, £20,000 the rest of the UK),
  • The ‘freeze’ in the value of certain benefits for 4 years
  • Limiting support (from child tax credit or the child element of Universal Credit) to 2 children
  • Removing the work-related activity support component in Employment and Support Allowance
  • Changes in conditionality for responsible carers under Universal Credit
  • Replacing current mortgage interest support to loans for mortgage interest payments
  • Reducing social rents by 1% pa over next 4 years

2. The impact of the Act directly and indirectly on other legislation, services or access to these services, and vice versa, e.g., earlier welfare reforms (Universal Credit, sanctions, Personal Independence Payments, Work Capability and other assessments), taxation, housing, education, courts and probation services, NHS

3. Regional variations in impacts

4. Short and longer term impacts

5. Measurement and reporting methods, e.g social mobility, unemployment

The APPG for Health in All Policies is interested in your experience, as well as other qualitative and quantitative evidence, from the grey literature as well as peer-reviewed publications.

Please provide: name; job title; the organisation you represent (if applicable); email address; contact telephone number.

Please limit your response to no more than six pages of A4.

Please respond by Monday 4 March 2019.

Send submissions to appg@publicmatters.org.uk.

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