Welfare Reform Bill — Motion to Refer to Grand Committee
Lord McKenzie of Luton (Labour)
I remind the House that I had ministerial responsibility for the last two Welfare Reform Bills, which, as has been explained, were taken in the Moses Room. However, the scale and scope of those Bills was nothing like the Welfare Reform Bill before us at the moment. This is not our description, it is the Government's description. The Government have said that this is a landmark Bill, the biggest change in the welfare system since the 1940s, and how important it is for the future of our country. That is the Government's position. Therefore, it deserves enough time on the Floor of the House.
Anybody who listened to the debate yesterday would have noted that a big aspect of the Bill, recasting DLA into a new system, has caused real consternation in the disabled community, with millions of people potentially affected by it. For their sakes, if nobody else's, we need to make sure that we can debate that in this Chamber so they have the best possible access. We did agree a split of the Bill, mostly on the basis of what was tabled by the Government; I think there was one adjustment we wished to make to it. We have co-operated. As my noble friend Lord Corbett says, we are talking about just four days. If that is what divides us we should take this away, rethink and get back to the usual channels.