Working age benefits

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on benefits for people of working age. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

06.02.2015Further devolution of powers to Scotland: Universal Credit housing element and payment arrangements
This note explains the Smith Commission's proposals and the Draft Scotland Clauses in relation to Universal Credit (UC), including the housing costs element (currently Housing Benefit). As it stands, UC will remain a reserved benefit but the Scottish Parliament would be given the power to vary the housing costs element of UC, and powers to vary the manner and frequency of UC payments.
08.01.2015Social security expenditure: Social Indicators page
Summary data on benefit and tax credit expenditure in Great Britain.
29.12.2014Under-occupation of social housing: Housing Benefit entitlement
This note provides information on under-occupation in the social rented sector and explains who is affected by the under-occupation deductions from Housing Benefit (also referred to as the Spare Room Subsidy or the bedroom tax) which were implemented in April 2013. The note summarises legal challenges to the HB deductions and the responses by landlords and tenants.
21.12.20142015 Benefit uprating
State pension, benefit and tax credit increases in April 2015 - what the rates are and how are they are calculated.
15.12.2014The impact of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (social rented housing)
This note summarises some key findings of the ongoing studies into the impact of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (also referred to as the 'spare room subsidy' or 'bedroom tax').

Research Papers

12.06.2013Pensions Bill
This paper has been prepared for Second Reading of the Pensions Bill on 17 June 2013
04.01.2013Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill
27.04.2012Social Indicators
A compendium of the latest social statistics. This edition includes articles: Constituency-level crime data, ESA assessments and reassessments and Measuring well-being
08.06.2011Welfare Reform Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill. It complements Research Papers 11/23 and 11/24, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate.
07.03.2011Welfare Reform Bill: Universal Credit provisions
The Welfare Reform Bill provides for the introduction of a 'Universal Credit' to replace a range of existing means-tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age, starting from 2013. The Bill follows the November 2010 White Paper, Universal Credit: welfare that works, which set out the Government's proposals for reforming welfare to improve work incentives, simplify the benefits system and tackle administrative complexity.

Early Day Motions

That this House welcomes the commitment of the Coalition Government to increase the personal allowance to 10,000 by 2015; recognises that increases in the personal allowance have already ...
That this House notes that since only 15 per cent. of people in deprived areas have used a Government website in the last year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may find that ...
That this House notes with extreme concern the provisions for time-limiting contribution-related employment and support allowance (ESA) to 12 months included in the Welfare Reform Bill; ...
That this House notes that proposals to reform the Social Fund through the abolition of community care grants and crisis loans for general living expenses, and their replacement witha ...
That this House notes that the Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts 1.36 million people will be claiming jobseeker's allowance at the start of 2013; further notes that in areas ...

Lords Library Notes

26.11.2013Pensions Bill (HL Bill 55 of 2013-14)
This Note provides background reading on the Pensions Bill, which is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 3 December 2013.
06.02.2013Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill (HL Bill 78 of 2012-13)
The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill implements an announcement by the Chancellor in the 2012 Autumn Statement that increases in certain working-age welfare benefits and tax credits would be limited to 1 percent, rather than increasing them in line with inflation. This Library Note is intended to provide background information in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 11 February 2013.

POST Papers

03.10.2011An Ageing Workforce
This POSTnote examines the main challenges to the participation and productivity of older people in the workforce.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses