Steve McCabe MP on the Welfare Reform Bill

Over the last few days I’ve been contacted by constituents and had twitter exchanges with people who have argued that Labour didn’t vote against the Welfare Reform Bill. Below is the text of the amendment where Labour opposed the Bill. It is pretty clear what it says. I should point out that the SNP declined to vote for this amendment. Those who argue we should have voted twice were arguing that we should also have votes against apprenticeships which are Labour policy, mortgage support and support for troubled families.

"That this House, whilst affirming its belief that there should be controls on and reforms to the overall costs of social security, that reporting obligations on full employment, apprenticeships and troubled families are welcome, and that a benefits cap and loans for mortgage interest support are necessary changes to the welfare system, declines to give a Second Reading to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill because the Bill will prevent the Government from continuing to pursue an ambition to reduce child poverty in both absolute and relative terms, it effectively repeals the Child Poverty Act 2010 which provides important measures and accountability of government policy in relation to child poverty, and it includes a proposal for the work-related activity component of employment and support allowance which is an unfair approach to people who are sick and disabled."

I understand those who wish to make a more detailed criticism of the Bill and this will happen when it is scrutinised line by line at Committee Stage but for the time being those who argue that Labour didn’t vote against the Bill are either misinformed or being deliberately misleading. Hope this helps set the record straight.

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