Archive for November 17th, 2011

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Work and Pensions Committee


Select Committee Announcement

17 November 2011

For Immediate Release:

AN57 2010–12




Proposal to replace DLA with Personal Independence Payment


Wednesday 23 November 2011, Committee Room 15, House of Commons

At 9.30 am


  • Neil Coyle, Director of Policy, Disability Alliance
  •  Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind
  •  Amanda Batten, Director of External Affairs, National Autistic Society
  •  Geoff Fimister, Campaigns Officer, RNIB
  •  Eugene Grant, Public Policy Officer, Scope

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into the Government’s proposal to introduce Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from 2013, replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working age claimants by 2015/16.

PIP will be similar to DLA in that it will be a non-means tested, non-contributory tax-free cash benefit paid to people whose disabilities mean they incur extra costs in everyday life; however, the Government aims to simplify the benefit and reduce expenditure by introducing a new assessment for PIP and by changing some of the current rules. The changes include: systematic periodic review of most PIP awards; ending automatic entitlement for specific conditions; replacing DLA’s three rates in the care component with two rates in the new daily living component; and extending the Qualifying Period from 3 months to 6 months.
This is the second evidence session in the inquiry. The Committee will explore the case for reform and the Government’s approach to it. It will also consider the latest draft of the PIP assessment criteria and plans for the delivery of the assessment. The Government’s approach to consultation and its communication strategy will also be discussed.

Further information


Written evidence: Interested organisations and individuals were invited to submit written evidence before 2 September 2011. The evidence received has been published on the Committee’s website.

Oral evidence: The Committee heard oral evidence from academics and benefits experts on 19 October 2011. A transcript is available on the Committee’s website.

Committee membership:  Dame Anne Begg MP (Chair) (Lab, Aberdeen South), Mrs Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham East and Saddleworth), Harriett Baldwin MP (Con, West Worcestershire), Andrew Bingham MP (Con, High Peak), Karen Bradley MP (Con, Staffordshire Moorlands), Sheila Gilmore (Lab, Edinburgh East),  Mr Oliver Heald MP (Con, North East Hertfordshire), Glenda Jackson MP (Lab, Hampstead and Highgate), Brandon Lewis MP, (Con, Great Yarmouth), Stephen Lloyd MP (Lib Dem, Eastbourne), Teresa Pearce MP (Lab, Erith and Thamesmead).

Specific Committee Informationworkpencom@parliament.uk 020 7219 2839

Media Information: bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk 020 7219 0724


Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/workpencom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates onlinewww.parliamentlive.tv


Publications/Reports/Reference Material:

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Localism Bill receives Royal assent

The Localism Bill has become a law signalling a historic shift in power from Whitehall back to the local community. The Act will trigger a transfer in power, releasing councils and communities from the grip of central government.

In the coming weeks and months the measures in the Localism Act will begin to come into effect. Many of the measures are expected to be in place by April 2012.

The main provisions of the Act include:

  • New Community Rights which will ensure that community organisations have a fair chance to bid to take over land and buildings that are important to them.
  • New rights to allow local communities to shape new development by coming together to prepare neighbourhood plans.
  • Enabling more decisions about housing are taken locally, and the system is fairer and more effective.
  • Allowing councils decide how best to help homeless people and decide how to manage their housing waiting lists.
  • Enabling Ministers to transfer public functions to local authorities in order to improve local accountability or promote economic growth.
  • A ‘general power of competence’. This gives local authorities the legal capacity to do anything an individual can do that isn’t specifically prohibited; they will not, for example, be able to impose new taxes, as an individual has no power to tax.

Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities Eric Pickles said:

“Today marks the beginning of an historic shift of power from Whitehall to every community to take back control of their lives. The Localism Act pulls down the Whitehall barricades so it will no longer call the shots over communities – bug bears like housing targets and bin taxes are gone.

Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark said:

“For the best part of a hundred years Parliament has been passing laws that increase the Government’s powers at the expense of people and communities. “This historic Act begins to reverse a hundred years of centralisation. It puts power into the hands of citizens, community groups and local councils. It breaks the monopoly on all new policy initiatives having to come from Whitehall by giving a new right of initiative to people in their local areas.


Read more about the provisions in the Localism Act

Click here for a guide to the Localism Bill

Click here for responses to the Localism Bill receiving Royal Assent


Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Mark Prisk announced new investment for 10,000 volunteer business mentors

New grant funding of £1.2m will support a mentoring scheme to recruit 10,000 business volunteers from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This will add to the number of business mentors available through mentorsme.co.uk to bring the total number of business mentors to around 26,000.

The new mentoring portal, mentorsme.co.uk, was launched in the summer to give entrepreneurs access to mentoring from the experienced business people whose advice they most value. It provides a single point of access for those seeking mentoring throughout the UK and is operated by the British Bankers Association (BBA).

Mark Prisk, said:

“Businesses tell us they want to get advice from other experienced business people and we know that those seeking support are more likely to succeed.

“Mentoring can deliver significant economic benefits from just a small commitment of time and resources. Building a relationship with a mentor can have a positive effect on your business, whether you are just starting up or are already established.”

Click here to listen to a webchat about the announcement which Mark Prisk took part in.

Read more

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Private sector not picking up Public sector job losses

The Coalition Governments hope that job losses in the public sector would be off set by growing vacancies in the private sector have been cast in doubt.


Public sector employment fell by 97,000 between March and June whilst just 47,000 extra people were employed in the private sector over the same period.


British nationals were found to be faring worse than those born outside the UK. In the three months to September 280,000 fewer British nationals were in work compared with a year earlier while 147,000 more non-UK nationals had found a job.


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