The Welfare Reform and Work Bill was in Committee in September and when Parliament returned in October. As the new Shadow Minister for Disabled People, I co-lead Labour’s team alongside my Shadow Minister for Employment, Emily Thornberry.
Bill Committees scrutinise every line and clause of a Bill in order, proposing changes through amendments and new clauses and then voting on these. I argued against the Government’s proposal that people in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) but found not fit for work and placed in the Work Related Activity Group should lose £30 a week, when they are already facing additional costs associated with their disability.
I also spoke on the clauses which propose a 1% reduction in rents for social housing, massively impacting housing associations’ ability to invest in new homes and having a knock on impact on supported housing, including homeless shelters and refuges. In addition, I proposed Labour’s amendments to review the Government’s sanctions regime, an issue I have been campaigning on for nearly two years now.