25th January

The Simple Politics guide to next week in Parliament.
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Work always pays.

This is right at the heart of Conservative ideology.  Make the decision to go to work an easy one.  One way to do that is to ensure that nobody can get more money on benefits than they would if they worked full time on the minimum wage.  The idea is to force the country towards full employment - pay back the deficit and then reduce taxes.  Critics ask where those who need more benefits (people with disablilties, the elderly etc etc etc) fit into this picture.

Welfare Reform and Work Bill
This is intended to encourage people into work but has been pretty controversial. It will create an annual benefits cap of £13,400 (£20,000 a couple - more in London).

The Lords are near to completing the process and it's already been through the Commons. This may be law very soon.
More details
Childcare Bill

This is also designed to help people get back into work.  Every 3 and 4 year old in the country will now be given 35 free hours of childcare every week during term time.

It's not plain sailing, though.  Some argue that too little is paid for those places, pushing up the cost of paid for hours - limiting working opportunities.
More details
Charities (protection and social investment) Bill
Charity matters to Conservatives.  Where they want smaller tax bills, they want people to help each other through tough times.

So, this Bill makes it harder for nasty people to become trustees, strengthens the Charities Commission and encourages 'social investments'.
More details
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