Income Support and Child Benefit

Part of Orders of the Day — Social Security Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:56 pm on 14th March 1988.

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Photo of Mr Michael Portillo Mr Michael Portillo , Enfield, Southgate 6:56 pm, 14th March 1988

The hon. Gentleman may recall from our Committee debates that we are talking about discretionary powers exercised by the Secretary of State. Those powers can be exercised by officers acting on his behalf. In those circumstances those officers are not acting as adjudication officers. In Committee we also gave the assurance that, routinely, such applications for the exercise of the Secretary of State's discretion would be referred to headquarters before they were made. Therefore, although the officers are acting on behalf of the Secretary of State, they will consult officers at headquarters before discretion is exercised.