11th January

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The Simple Politics guide to next week in Parliament.
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The return of the Lords!

After a break of almost a month, Monday will see both Houses back in action. The Lords may have been on an extended break (lucky them), but they'll hit the ground running with one of the most controversial laws of this session: the Trade Union Bill.

It's a busy week for both Houses, though, with armed forces, housing, mayors, benefits and riot compensation all on the agenda, too.

Trade Union Bill

A London tube strike costs the economy from £50 -£600 million.

This law make strikes harder by making more people have to vote for them. It also puts in a delay to strike, changes rules about picketing & political funding.

Critics say it takes power away from workers; threatens democracy; & striking is a human right.
More details
Housing and Planning Bill 

This will allow housing association tenants to buy their home - and ensure that when they do, the housing association builds another.

There are other measures too, including more 'starter homes' (20% off 1st homes); and to get more houses built on former industrial and commercial sites known as 'brownfield' .
More details
Welfare Reform and Work Bill

This is intended to encourage people into work but is very controversial. It will create an annual benefits cap of £13,400 (£20,000 a couple - more in London).

It will also freeze social security benefits (pensions, jobseekers etc) and tax credit for 4 years and limit child benefit to 2 children per family.
More details
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