Latest updates from Welfare Reform Bill – impact on households with children

Subject to approval by the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Northern Ireland Executive, the new Welfare Reform Bill for Northern Ireland will result in changes to the benefits system here. Many of the current benefits will cease to exist and new benefits and payment systems will be introduced. The proposed Bill will provide 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. Besides introducing Universal Credit and related measures, the Bill will make other significant changes to the benefits system.

The ‘Impact of the Benefit Cap’ report commissioned by the Department of Social Development estimates that;

  • 620 households that contain approximately 3,120 children (on average 5 children per household), will potentially be affected by the legislation
  • The average amount that affected households receive in excess of the Benefit Cap threshold is £53.28 per week.
  • 61% of households would see a reduction of around £50 per week to benefits with a further quarter losing from £50-£100 per week.

To learn more about the Welfare Reform Bill and its impacts then click on the links below.

What are the changes to benefits being introduced in Northern Ireland?
Proposals for a Welfare Reform Bill – Equality Impact Assessment
The Impact of Benefit Cap in Northern Ireland