Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Explanatory Notes

Territorial extent and application

60 The following provisions apply across the whole of the UK:

a. The duty to report annually on progress towards the Government's objective of full employment

b. Freeze of tax credits and Child Benefit

c. Changes to Child Tax Credit

61 The following provisions apply to England, Wales and Scotland (Northern Ireland is responsible for its own social security system):

a. Changes to benefit cap

b. Freeze of certain social security benefits

c. Changes to child element of universal credit

d. the removal of the work-related activity component in employment and support allowance and the limited capability for work element in universal credit

e. conditionality for responsible carers in universal credit

f. loans for mortgage interest

62 The following provisions apply to England only:

a. Apprenticeships duty (extends to England and Wales, but only applies in England)

b. The duty to report annually on the progress of the Troubled Families Programme.

i. The delivery of similar programmes in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

c. changes to social housing rents

63 For the life chances provisions:

a. The duty to report annually on measures of children living in workless households and the educational attainment of children will apply to England only.

b. There will no longer be a duty for a UK strategy. Scottish Ministers and the relevant Northern Ireland department will retain a duty to produce a strategy to ensure, that as far as possible, children in their territory do not experience socio-economic disadvantage.

c. Scottish Ministers and the relevant Northern Ireland department will no longer have a duty to describe in their strategies the progress they intend to make to contribute to the meeting of the targets of relative low income, combined low income and material deprivation, absolute low income and persistent poverty which this Bill removes.

d. The duty on the renamed Social Mobility Commission in relation to promoting social mobility and advising Ministers, if requested, on how to improve social mobility, applies to England only.

e. The duty on the Commission in relation to reporting annually on the progress made to ensure, that as far as possible, children do not experience socio-economic disadvantage, applies to devolved administrations only.

64 The Bill does not contain any provision which gives rise to the need for a legislative consent motion in the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly. There is a convention that Westminster will not normally legislate with regard to matters that are within the legislative competence of any of these legislatures without the consent of the legislature concerned. If there are amendments relating to such matters that fall within the convention, the consent of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly (as appropriate) will be sought for them.

Prepared 16th July 2015