Welfare Bill lays out reform plans

The government published its long-awaited Welfare Reform Bill this week but there is still no indication of the new levels of benefits.

The bill contains powers to replace incapacity benefit with a new employment and support allowance from 2008.

Under the plans, people with more manageable conditions will be able to claim the highest rate of the allowance only if they undergo work-focused interviews, agree action plans and carry out work-related activity.

Failure to meet these conditions would lead to reductions to their benefits. People with more serious conditions will not need to meet any requirements to qualify for the highest rate.

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