Work and Pensions Select Committee
The Work and Pensions Select Committee is a select committee of the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The remit of the Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Work and Pensions and its associated public bodies.
Changes in membership between parliaments
Occasionally, the House of Commons orders changes to be made in terms of membership of select committees, as proposed by the Committee of Selection. It often follows an MP's promotion to the frontbench.
|20 February 2018||Chris Green MP (Conservative)||Bolton West||→||Nigel Mills MP (Conservative)||Amber Valley|
|4 June 2018||Andrew Bowie MP (Conservative)||Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine||→||Justin Tomlinson MP (Conservative)||North Swindon|
|Emma Dent Coad MP (Labour)||Kensington||Rosie Duffield MP (Labour)||Canterbury|
|26 November 2018||Justin Tomlinson MP (Conservative)||North Swindon||→||Derek Thomas MP||St Ives|
|11 February 2019||Alex Burghart MP (Conservative)||Brentwood and Ongar||→||Anna Soubry MP (Conservative)||Broxtowe|
|26 October 2015||Debbie Abrahams MP (Labour)||Oldham East and Saddleworth||→||Steve McCabe MP (Labour)||Birmingham Selly Oak|
|1 February 2016||Emma Lewell-Buck MP (Labour)||South Shields||→||Neil Coyle MP (Labour)||Bermondsey and Old Southwark|
The committee has been involved in a number of significant investigations.
Welfare safety net inquiry (2015)
On 18 September 2015, the Committee announced that it was beginning an enquiry into the 'welfare safety net'. The Committee's chair, in launching the enquiry, said:
"There is a great deal of concern that some of the least advantaged people are slipping through our safety net into a state of hunger. Our welfare safety net has developed over decades because there is a level below which we as a society do not believe anyone should fall, no matter where they live. We want to understand how local councils are adapting and coping with the changes in benefits and the extra responsibilities on them to meet genuine need and maintain that basic safety net."
Two child limit (2019)
In 2019 the Work and Pensions Select Committee recommended ending the two-child limit on welfare payments. The committee head evidence from charities, economists and faith groups and stated the limit had, “unintended consequences that no government should be willing to accept.” The committee stated the justification for the limit assumed all pregnancies were planned, that distinguishing between families on benefits and families in work was “crude and unrealistic”, further evidence did not support the case that the two child limit might encourage parents to increase their incomes from work. The committee argued for no significant distinction between households on benefits and those working. In April 2019, 72% of families getting tax credits were in work. In May 2019, 28% of working-age housing benefit claimants were, “in employment and not on passported benefit”. in October 2019, 33% of Universal Credit claimants were recorded as employed. Frank Field MP said, “Any family in this country, except the super-rich, could fall foul of the two-child limit if their circumstances changed for the worse. This is exactly why social security must act as a national insurance scheme covering people when they’re most exposed to hardship – not increase it.”
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- "Frank Field elected Chair". Parliament.uk. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
- "Work and Pensions Committee - membership". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
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- "Derek Thomas MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
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- "Committees". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 605. House of Commons. 1 February 2016. Part 108:col. 750.
- "Work and Pensions". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 517. House of Commons. 2 November 2010. Part 63:col. 896.
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- "Work and Pensions". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 530. House of Commons. 27 June 2011. Part 177:col. 726.
- "Work and Pensions". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 534. House of Commons. 25 October 2011. Part 213:col. 286.
- "Committees". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 552. House of Commons. 29 October 2012. Part 58:col. 132.
- "Committees". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 564. House of Commons. 10 June 2013. Part 14:col. 129.
- "Welfare safety net inquiry launched". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- End two-child benefits limit, say cross-party MPs The Observer