Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Explanatory Notes

Territorial extent and application

65 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;

66 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;

g. expenses of paying sums in respect of vehicle hire etc

67 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.

68 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 either a UK strategy or a Scottish strategy. The relevant Northern Ireland department will retain a duty to produce a strategy to ensure, that as far as possible, children Northern Ireland do not experience socio-economic disadvantage.

c. The relevant Northern Ireland department will no longer have a duty to describe in its strategy the progress it intends 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 to report on progress made towards improving social mobility applies to the UK.

f. 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, only applies to Northern Ireland

g. The power of a Minister of the Crown to direct the Commission to carry out any other activity relating to improving social mobility applies to England and Northern Ireland only.

h. There is a convention that Westminster will not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent of the devolved legislature concerned. Consent has been sought from the Scottish Parliament for the removal of duties on Scottish Ministers in relation to producing a strategy and consent has been sought from the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales in relation to certain changes to the Commission. The Bill does not contain any other provision which gives rise to the need for a legislative consent motion.

Prepared 29th October 2015