Welfare bill to become law as Lord Best backs down
The Welfare Reform Bill has completed its passage through parliament after Lord Freud appeased peers by promising to review the impact of the bedroom tax.
The welfare reform minister told peers he accepted the penalty for under-occupation is a ‘big change’ and that research will be needed to understand its impact.
‘I am not yet in a position to provide the full details of that research project, but I can commit to bring forward fuller proposals when the regulations are debated after royal assent,’ he said.
Crossbench peer Lord Best had threatened to further delay the progress of the bill by forcing a vote on whether it should be amended to include a commitment to review the impact of the bedroom tax after six months.
The peer has already had two amendments on under-occupation passed in the Lords, which were then overturned by MPs in the House of Commons.
Lord Best agreed to withdraw his latest amendment following the reassurances from Lord Freud, allowing the bill to complete its journey through parliament and await royal assent to become law.
Under the under-occupation plans working age social tenants who are in receipt of housing benefit will see their payments cut if they are deemed to be under-occupying their home.
The bill also contains the key policies at the heart of the government’s welfare reform agenda, including the £26,000 benefit cap and the framework for the introduction of universal credit.
The prime minister, David Cameron, hailed the end of the debate on the bill as ‘an historic step in the biggest welfare revolution in over 60 years’.