Legislation is being proposed that would force claimants to use benefit money for 'responsible' spending only. The Conservative MP behind the Welfare Cash Card Bill, Alec Shelbrooke, is acting in a personal capacity – although he also serves as a junior government minister.
Under the Bill, a 'welfare cash card' would be introduced to replace cash payments for most benefits. The card would allow claimants to make only priority purchases such as food, clothing, energy, travel and housing. The purchase of so-called 'luxury' goods such as cigarettes, alcohol, gambling and satellite television subscriptions would be prohibited.
Speaking in Parliament, Shelbrooke said: