Labour tables welfare motion as Shapps backs bill
The Labour party has tabled a motion calling for the benefit cap to be set by an independent body according to local circumstances, ahead of a series of crunch votes on the Welfare Reform Bill today.
The bill, which would cap total benefits at £26,000 a year, is returning to the House of Commons following seven defeats in the House of Lords.
The government is seeking to overturn a series of changes to the bill including amendments to exclude child benefit from the cap and to water down plans for a ‘bedroom tax’ for underoccupying social housing tenants.
Labour will today try and amend the bill so that the total benefits cap is set according to recommendations from a new independent body taking into account regional differences in housing costs.
Despite the motion, the housing minister has said the government is committed to getting the Welfare Reform Bill through parliament without any amendments from the House of Lords.
Grant Shapps told Inside Housing that he was convinced the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition would come together to push the bill through in its original form.
Mr Shapps said: ‘This has all been cleared by the coalition well in advance. This is coalition policy and everyone agrees that we do need to bring the welfare bill down. We are going to make sure the coalition agreement stands on this.’