WEB VOTE: Is the Government right to limit welfare payments?

The Bill is currently under consideration in Parliament.
The Bill is currently under consideration in Parliament.

This week, the Gazette has featured a story about the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds and MP Julian Smith clashing over welfare reform.

Among the measures being proposed in the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill are capping annual increases to working age benefits at one per cent for three years.

The Rt Revd John Packer says 60 per cent of the savings made by the proposals will be borne by the poorest third in the UK, while just three per cent of the savings will affect the wealthiest.

The Bishop said: “At a time of financial austerity people who cannot afford to pay should not have to bear the burden of the cuts.”

But Ripon MP Julian Smith has defended his Government’s proposals, saying something must be done to make it “more attractive for people to be in work than on benefits”.

He adds: “The Government’s approach is to protect those in the greatest need.”

We want to know: do you think the Government is right to limit welfare increases for working-age benefits?