Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:38 pm on 20th July 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Helen Jones Helen Jones Chair, Petitions Committee, Chair, Petitions Committee 7:38 pm, 20th July 2015

No, I am afraid I do not have the time.

Life does not proceed in a straight line. Let us take the example of a family with three children. They are doing all right; they can afford it. Then one partner falls ill or dies. The other partner might have to work, and take a part-time or low-wage job. Under this Government’s proposals that third child becomes superfluous—one that they should not have had. Not every child matters under this Government.

Let us say a family improve their prospects and get more hours or get a better job. If that job lasts for more than six months and they have to make another claim, that is treated as a fresh claim and they lose the credits for their third child. Where on earth is the incentive to work in that?

We have also heard about what might happen in cases of rape, and I hope the Minister will be able to answer that point when she sums up. Many women do not report rape for reasons that we understand. When they do report it, the prosecution rate is very low and the conviction rate is even lower. What will be taken as proof—reporting, prosecution or conviction? How will a DWP official, not trained in investigation or used to dealing with rape cases, decide on that? Not since Mao Tse Tung has there been a proposal to limit families that is more degrading to women.

This Bill is a purely regressive Bill. It will make millions of families in this country worse off. That is why I will not support it in the Lobby tonight.