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Welfare Reform Bill (Employment and Support Allowance)

Volume 532: debated on Wednesday 7 September 2011

As part of his spending review announcement, the Chancellor set out his proposal to introduce a time limit of one year for those claiming contributory employment and support allowance who are in the work-related activity group. The change will, subject to the passage of the enabling legislation, apply from April 2012. For those in the work-related activity group who have already received a year or more contributory employment and support allowance as at April 2012, entitlement will cease immediately.

In order to avoid delay in implementing this policy the Department for Work and Pensions has obtained approval for an advance from the Contingencies Fund of £2,705,000 to allow for the development of IT, ensure those potentially impacted by the time limit in April 2012 are notified of the change and to deliver the operational support that will be required before Royal Assent of the enabling legislation. Parliamentary approval for resources of £2,705,000 for this new service will be sought in a supplementary estimate for the Department of Work and Pensions. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £2,705,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.