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2010 National Disabled Members' Conference
6 July 2010

The Queen’s speech, presented on 25 May 2010 introduced a new Welfare Reform Bill.

The Government states that the main benefits of the Bill will be:

·‘Making the benefits system less complex

·Improving work incentives

·Getting the five million plus people languishing on benefits into work and out of poverty.

·Reducing the scope for fraud and error.

The Bill will scrap all existing back to work programmes and establish a single welfare-to-work regime. All incapacity benefit claimants will be reassessed.

Conference welcomes changes to the Government’s earlier plans, including scrapping the proposal to make disabled people look for jobs or risk losing their benefits.

However, Conference is concerned that, with thousands of people losing their jobs every week, the Bill will introduce even tougher conditions for claimants.

Conference is disappointed that the Government appears to be persisting with plans that amount to a ‘work for your benefit’ scheme.

Conference is also opposed to any plans to privatise Jobcentre Plus and to handing welfare over to private contractors which could lead to exploitation and abuse.

Conference, therefore, mandates the National Disabled Members’ Committee to lobby the Government and seek improvements to the Bill.