What does the Queen’s speech mean for parents on benefit and in employment?

Two Bills will form the basis of the Government’s work with families on benefits and in work.

The first is the Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to achieve full employment, by creating 2 million new jobs, 3 million new apprenticeships and ensuring it ‘pays to work’.

Key points for families

  • There will be a expansion of the Troubled Families Programme  – building on the cross departmental and family focused approach.
  • The Government had confirmed its commitment to freeze the main rates of the majority of working age benefits, tax credits and Child Benefit for two years from 2016-17. This has an impact on working and unemployed parents, making both sets poorer.
  • The benefit cap will be lowered, so that the total benefits a non-working family can receive in a year would be £23,000 (exemptions apply for some benefit types including disability living benefits. This will particularly affect those living in London, where the rents are highest, and those with bigger families.

There will also be a Childcare Bill to provide for an increased entitlement to 30 hours a week of free childcare (for 38 weeks of the year) to be made available to eligible working parents of three and four year olds.

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