Clause 51 — Period of entitlement to contributory allowance

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:30 pm on 1st February 2012.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys 1:30 pm, 1st February 2012

I am pleased to welcome the vast bulk of what the Government are doing. It is a pleasure to hear that people are not being defined by their condition and are not being forced to have decisions taken about them on the basis of a label or a particular condition. That is why, as I say, I strongly welcome much of what the Government are doing.

I would, however, like to reflect briefly on amendment 23, which relates to the youth passport. It is not that I particularly disagree with what the Government are doing, but I wish to focus on a few questions, which I hope the Minister will answer, about how we intend to ensure that these young people are given, as it says in the impact assessment, the “equal footing” that the Government rightly want them to have.

My primary concern is that these young people have not been able to acquire national insurance contributions because they are severely disabled. I would welcome some clarity about the expectation that they will accrue these contributions and be protected in the welfare system at the point at which they become an adult. Despite reading the impact assessment and all the debates in the House of Lords and listening carefully to what has been said today, I am still not entirely clear how that will be achieved.