The UK Government’s Welfare Reform Act 2012 introduces two new benefits:
- Universal Credit, which will eventually replace a number of in and out of work income-based benefits; and
- Personal Independence Payment, which will replace Disability Living Allowance.
Currently, people who are entitled to certain means-tested benefits (such as Income Support) or tax credits can also be eligible for a range of other support, known as ‘passported benefits’.
Even though welfare is not devolved, the introduction these two new benefits will have implications for Welsh Government benefits and services that currently base their eligibility on the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits which are going to be replaced. It will also impact on other Welsh Government legislation and schemes that make reference to those benefits. A full list of the affected passported benefits is available on the Welsh Government website – they include free school meals, the Nest home energy efficiency scheme and NHS travelling expenses.
The Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee undertook a one-off scrutiny session on welfare reform with the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty on 8 May. The transcript can be found here.
Article by Jonathan Baxter, National Assembly for Wales Research Service
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