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Social Security Benefits

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons his Department’s Green Paper, “In Work, Better Off” did not consider options for a single system of working age benefits; and if he will make a statement. (163830)

The Green Paper “In Work better off: next steps to full employment” looks to achieving the next steps to the Government’s long-term aim of full employment. We continue to modernise the benefit system with major reform of housing benefit and incapacity benefit scheduled for next year.

We want to go further, but recognise that fundamental change to the system would take many years to implement and would affect most people. Change on this scale would require wide public debate and engagement and a degree of consensus if it is to be carried through. The Department will consider the best way to initiate such a public debate and will put forward proposals next year.