Ruth Cadbury MP Abstains on Welfare Bill

48 Labour MPs defied whip to vote no

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Welfare Reform and Work Bill - debate in full

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The Welfare Reform and Work Bill contains cuts that will hit millions of working families across the country. Others cuts, such as the cuts to tax credits for three million low and middle income families, are not included in the Bill and will be dealt with as secondary legislation. Labour will oppose these cuts when they come before Parliament.

Labour supports some of the measures in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, including plans to create 3 million apprenticeships, reduce rents for those living in social housing, and cap the amount that people can claim in benefits to ensure that people are always better off in work.

We therefore did not oppose the Bill in full. We tabled a Reasoned Amendment to the Bill which allowed us to highlight those elements of the Bill which we support, whilst also outlining those which we oppose and will seek to have removed from the Bill.

These include:

  1. the abolition of child poverty targets, which the Labour government put in place, and which require the government to take action to reduce absolute and relative poverty
  2. cuts to support for the sick and disabled who are not fit for work – this includes people who have cancer or Parkinson’s disease 

The vote on Monday was for a second reading. The Bill will now go to committee, where our case can be argued, before coming back for a final vote later in the year.

I can assure you that we will be doing everything we can to make sure that this Bill does not make life harder for working families, and protects those who are unable to work.

The focus should be on the effects of the bill itself. Instead attention has now been put onto Parliamentary procedure. Labour did not draft the Bill and if we were in Government we would not be trying to make this Bill into law.

Ruth Cadbury

July 23, 2015

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