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Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016

The Government introduced the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to Parliament in July 2015.

Family Rights Group was severely concerned about the impact some of the Bill’s proposals would have on families including family and friends carers (also known as kinship carers) and young parents who had themselves been in the care system.

These concerns included:

  • Benefit cap and Kinship carers
    The Bill proposed a cap on the total amount of benefit a family could claim. Families who would be hit by the measure include kinship carers who already have their own children and gave up their job to raise a sibling group of children who would otherwise be in the care system.
  • Tax credits and Kinship carers 
    In addition to the benefit cap, the Bill also proposed to limit the tax credit a family could claim to a maximum of two children in the household.
  • Kinship carers and work related requirements
    The Bill introduced new requirements on parents of children under five to prepare to seek work and – for parents of three and four year olds – to demonstrate that they were actively seeking work. Failure to do so would result in a loss of universal credit.
  • Young care experienced parents
    We sought an amendment to the Bill to give care leavers aged under 25, and who were parents, the same standard allowance as parents aged over 25. Read our briefing on this amendment here.

Family Rights Group’s successful in securing amendments to the Bill

Family Rights Group lobbied successfully for children in kinship carer to be exempt from the two child limit on tax credits. We were also successful in securing an exemption for kinship carers of children aged four and under, from the work related requirements for universal credit.

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