Universal Credit (Removal of Two Child Limit) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 7 of 2022-23

On 8 July 2022, the second reading of the Universal Credit (Removal of Two Child Limit) Bill [HL] is scheduled to take place in the House of Lords. The bill is a private member’s bill introduced by the Bishop of Durham. The bill would disapply provisions of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, as amended by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, which implemented the two-child limit to universal credit.

Universal Credit (Removal of Two Child Limit) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 7 of 2022-23

Pig farming industry in England

Pig farmers have faced a number of pressures in recent months, including labour shortages and rising costs of production. The National Pig Association has described the situation as a “crisis”. This article summarises the findings of a recent House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report on labour shortages in the farming sector. In addition, it explores reaction to the government’s package of support measures for the pig industry.

Pig farming industry in England
  • Research Briefing

    Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill [HL]

    The Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill is a government bill that is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 24 May 2022. The bill would amend the special rules to allow those with a terminal illness to receive certain disability-related benefits if they have less than 12 months to live (as opposed to the current six months).

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Welfare and pensions

    This article looks at possible announcements in the upcoming Queen’s Speech relating to pensions and benefits. No major piece of welfare or pensions legislation has been pre-announced by the Government. However, it has committed to introduce measures that may require primary or secondary legislation. These include: reintroducing managed migration to universal credit; reforming the eligibility rules for benefits claimants with terminal illness; and reducing the minimum age for pensions auto-enrolment.

  • In Focus

    Changes to the Highway Code on using a mobile phone while driving: regret motion

    The Government has recently broadened the scope of Highway Code rule 149, which now makes it an offence to use a hand-held mobile device for almost any purpose while driving, not just to make and receive calls and texts. The House of Lords is due to debate a regret motion on the changes. The motion raises concerns about their scope and the “piecemeal” way the Highway Code was being amended.

  • In Focus

    Unpaid taxes: the ‘tax gap’

    HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) produces estimates of the tax gap—the tax revenue HMRC should receive but does not. Its most recent estimate for 2019/20 is £35 billion, or approximately 5% of total tax liabilities. As a percentage of total taxes, the gap has been declining in recent years. The Government’s tax strategy includes measures to reduce it further. However, some commentators have argued these need more careful consideration.

  • In Focus

    National Insurance Contributions (Increase of Thresholds) Bill

    The National Insurance Contributions (Increase of Thresholds) Bill is being fast tracked through Parliament to implement increases to national insurance thresholds announced in the March 2022 spring statement. There was broad cross-party support for the bill when it completed all its House of Commons stages on 24 March 2022. However, opposition MPs criticised the spring statement for not providing enough targeted support to those on low incomes affected by the rising cost of living.

  • In Focus

    Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2022: regret motion

    The House of Lords will soon consider a regret motion on the draft Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2022. The order would increase some welfare benefits by around 3% from April 2022. At a time when inflation has increased significantly, the uprating has been criticised for not meeting the rising cost of living.

  • In Focus

    Economic Affairs Committee report on universal credit

    In July 2020, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee published a report on universal credit. It concluded that although the original aims and objectives of the benefit remained broadly correct, the system required substantial reform as its current design was causing harm to many claimants. The Government subsequently rejected most of the committee’s recommendations. The House of Lords will soon debate the committee’s report.

  • In Focus

    UK trade with Russia

    In 2021, the UK had a trade deficit with Russia of over £5 billion. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the UK has imposed a range of economic sanctions on Russia. This article presents data on UK-Russia trade and summarises the sanctions legislation.

  • In Focus

    Office for Demographic Change Bill [HL]

    The Office for Demographic Change Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill which would establish an independent demographic authority to analyse the impact of UK population change. This article summarises what the bill would do, and the background to the proposals.

  • In Focus

    Ambulance response times in England: an emergency?

    The NHS in England has set a national target for ambulances to respond to the most life-threatening incidents within 7 minutes on average. Response times for these incidents have been rising in recent months, averaging over 9 minutes in December 2021. NHS targets for responding to less urgent calls have also been missed. This article summarises ambulance response times data and Government statements on the issue.