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Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007

Background and Policy Objectives

3.The Act makes provision for Northern Ireland corresponding to provision contained in the Welfare Reform Act 2007 (c. 5). It is part of the ongoing process of welfare reform and modernisation of the benefits system.

4.Part 1 of the Act makes provision for the employment and support allowance which will replace incapacity benefit and income support on grounds of incapacity. The replacement benefit will have a new benefit structure, incorporating both a contributory allowance and an income-related allowance.

5.Part 2 of the Act relates to housing benefit. In particular, it makes provision for the introduction of a local housing allowance across the private rented sector and changes to the design and administration of housing benefit.

6.The Act also makes provision for the sharing of social security information and functions, for example, to support joint working arrangements. It also includes provision in relation to overpayment recovery and benefit fraud and provides for a number of miscellaneous matters relating to benefits.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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