Opposition fails to stop benefit change

The government is to press ahead with plans to replace incapacity benefit with a two-tier employment and support allowance despite admitting there is “strong opposition” to the proposal.

In a report on responses to its consultation on the welfare reform green paper, it said it “appreciated the strength of feeling” about the proposed scheme, which would give people with manageable conditions more money than incapacity benefit if they attended work-focused interviews and carried out work-related activity.

It also said existing incapacity benefit claimants would be “migrated” to the new scheme over time.

The government also pledged to bring forward legislation to roll out its new local housing allowance to replace housing benefit for new claimants in the private sector.

Under the scheme, which is being piloted in 18 areas, tenants, rather than landlords, are paid a fixed sum based on the average cost of housing in each area.

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