City plays host to political powerhouses

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THE city played host to big hitters from the Government this week when the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, and his Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, each made a whistle-stop visit.

MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart used the opportunity of the visits to discuss the Welfare Reform Bill which was passed as an Act of Parliament last week.

The Welfare Reform Bill has been the focus of media attention for several months with the cap on benefit payments to households set at £26,000 per year.

However, support still remains in place to protect the most vulnerable. All households where someone is receiving Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Constant Attendance Allowance will be exempt from the cap. War widows and widowers are also exempt.

This has been part of the Government’s plans to ensure fairness for all and to make sure that work pays and that nobody is dependent upon welfare from the state.

Speaking afterwards, Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster said; ‘It was a fantastic opportunity to welcome the Secretary of State to Milton Keynes and to reflect upon the passing of this new bill. I hope that it will enable people to get back into the workplace instead of trapping them in the state benefits system.’

His Milton Keynes South counterpart, Iain Stewart added: “My postbag is often filled with requests for assistance from constituents who have difficulties navigating the very cumbersome benefits process. I welcome measures to simplify the process, especially as it tackles the disincentive to part-time working.”

The bill was passed by the House of Lords on March 1 and is now awaiting Royal Assent.