New Clause 2 — Childcare

Part of Welfare Reform Bill (Programme) (No. 2) – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 13th June 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 5:15 pm, 13th June 2011

The changes we made last year—the reduction from 80% to 70% support—merely returned us to the situation that applied before 2006. On the mini jobs, I want us to spend the money we have on supporting people from deprived backgrounds and in the most deprived situations into the work place so that they can make the most of their lives. The mini job is a perfectly reasonable way of doing that. I also happen to think that for many lone parents, a mini job during schools hours is a perfectly reasonable alternative that might mean that the need for child care is not great. None the less, the option should be there. We should not be writing—this is the key point about some of the Opposition amendments—into primary legislation rules that cannot be undone for two or three years, while we wait for a parliamentary slot. Instead, we need to set out straightforwardly a situation in regulations that can be amended if the situation requires. I could not possibly accept an amendment from the right hon. Member for East Ham that would write into primary legislation actual amounts of benefits that should be paid. The Labour party would never have done that while in government. It would not have happened, and I am not going to tolerate the idea now.