Clause 24 — Universal credit: costs of claimants who rent accommodation

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 30th June 2015.

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Photo of David Crausby David Crausby Labour, Bolton North East 2:00 pm, 30th June 2015

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 5, page 26, line 23, leave out paragraph (b) and insert—

“(b) they have consulted the Secretary of State as to when any change made by the regulations is to start to have effect.’

Clause 24 stand part.

Amendment 119, in clause 25, page 26, line 45, leave out from “unless” to end of line 5 on page 27 and insert

“they have consulted the Secretary of State

This amendment would remove the requirement for the Scottish Government to obtain consent from a UK Secretary of State in relation to persons to whom, and time when, Universal Credit is paid.

Amendment 7, page 27, line 1, after second “of”, insert “the delivery mechanism for”

Amendment 6, page 27, line 3, leave out paragraph (b) and insert—

“(b) they have consulted the Secretary of State as to when any change made by the regulations is to start to have effect.’

Clause 25 stand part.

New clause 28—Housing benefit

In Section F1 of Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, in the Exceptions, after exception 8 (see section 23 above) insert—

“Exception 9

Housing benefit.””

This New Clause provides for the full devolution of Housing Benefit, allowing Scottish Ministers to abolish the Spare Room Subsidy in Scotland, and to provide £1.8 billion of investment in housing in Scotland.

New clause 39—National Insurance

‘(1) Section F1 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998 is amended as follows.

(2) In the illustrations, omit “National Insurance;”

(3) In the exceptions, at the beginning insert—

“National Insurance.”

This new clause would devolve National Insurance to the Scottish Parliament

New clause 40—National Insurance: employers’ contributions

‘(1) Section F1 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998 is amended as follows.

(2) In the illustrations, omit “National Insurance;”

(3) In the Exceptions, after exception 11 (see section (Benefits relating to children)) insert—

“Exception 12

National Insurance so far as relating to contributions payable by employers.””

This new clause would devolve employers’ National Insurance contributions to the Scottish Parliament.

New clause 44—Working age benefits

In Section F1 of Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, in the Exceptions, after exception 9 (see section 23A above) insert—

“Exception 10

Benefits entitlement to which, or the purposes of which, are the same as or similar to those of any of the following benefits—

(a) universal credit under Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012,

(b) jobseeker’s allowance (whether contributions-based or income-based) under the Jobseekers Act 1995,

(c) employment and support allowance (whether contributory or income-related) under Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007,

(d) income support under section 124 of the Social Security and Benefits Act 1992,

(e) housing benefit under section 130 of that Act,

(f) child tax credit and working tax credit under the Tax Credits Act 2002.

The benefits referred to in paragraphs (a) to (f) above are—

(a) in the case of income-based jobseeker’s allowance and income-related employment support allowance, those benefits as they existed on 28 April 2013 (the day before their abolition),

(b) in the case of the other benefits, those benefits as they existed on 28 May 2015 (the date of introduction into Parliament of the Bill for the Scotland Act 2015).”

This new clause would devolve working age benefits to the Scottish Parliament.

New clause 45—Universal credit: powers to vary other elements

‘(1) A function of making regulations to which this section applies, so far as it is exercisable by the Secretary of State in or as regards Scotland, is exercisable by the Scottish Ministers concurrently with the Secretary of State.

(2) This section applies to—

(a) regulations under section 8(3)(a) of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (amount in respect of earned income) so far relating to the work allowance (that is, the amount of a claimant’s earned income that is to be disregarded in calculating the amounts to be deducted from the maximum amount in accordance with section 8(3) of that Act),

(b) regulations under section 10 of that Act (amount in respect of responsibility for children and young persons),

(c) regulations under section 12 of that Act (amounts in respect of other particular needs or circumstances) so far as relating to—

(i) the needs or circumstances referred to in subsection (2)(c) of that section (caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person), or

(ii) needs or circumstances of a claimant in paid work relating to childcare costs,

(d) regulations under any of sections 14 to 22, 24 and 25 of that Act (work-related requirements), and

(e) regulations under any of sections 26 to 28 of that Act (sanctions).

(3) The Scottish Ministers may not exercise the function of making regulations to which this section applies unless they have consulted the Secretary of State.

(4) The Secretary of State may not exercise the function of making regulations to which this section applies in or as regards Scotland unless he or she has consulted the Scottish Ministers.

(5) Where regulations are made by the Scottish Ministers by virtue of subsection (1)—

(a) section 43 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (regulations: procedure) does not apply, and

(b) the regulations are subject to the negative procedure (see Part 2 of the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010).”

This new clause would give the Scottish Parliament greater flexibility to make changes in Universal Credit.

New clause 46—Benefits relating to children

In Section F1 of Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, in the Exceptions, after exception 10 (see section (Working age benefits) above) insert—

“Exception 11

Benefits entitlement to which, or the purposes of which, are the same as or similar to those of any of the following benefits—

(a) guardian’s allowance under section 77 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992,

(b) child benefit under Part 9 of that Act.

The benefits referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) are those benefits as they existed on 28 May 2015 (the date of introduction into Parliament of the Bill for the Scotland Act 2015).”

This new clause would devolve benefits relating to children to the Scottish Parliament.

New clause 53—Childcare element of universal credit

In Section F1 of Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, in Exceptions, after exception 6 (see section 22 above) insert—

“Exception 7

The subject-matter of regulations 31 to 34 of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013.””

This will allow the Scottish Government to help parents and families in Scotland by devolving to the Scottish Parliament control over, and the power to vary, the childcare element of Universal Credit.

New clause 55—Social security

In Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, leave out Head F (Social security).”

This new Clause would remove from the list of reserved matters in the 1998 Act (and so transfer to the Scottish Parliament) all social security schemes, including National Insurance and housing benefit, as well as child support, occupational and personal pensions and war pensions.