There is nothing new about the guidance. The question is whether the Bill in draft provided adequately for such guidance. The intention that there should be guidance to local office managers to set priorities was always made explicit, and was referred to a number of times in Standing Committee. The hon. Member for Redcar (Ms. Mowlam) referred to the need for managers to be
alert to take action to ensure that the highest priority cases were met throughout the year." —[Official Report, Standing Committee E, 15 December 1987; c. 577.]
Clearly the hon. Lady was under no misapprehension about the Government's intentions, but when the Bill was examined by counsel it did not adequately meet the policies so clearly set out in Standing Committee.