Welfare Reform — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:04 pm on 10th December 2008.

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Photo of Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope Spokesperson in the Lords, Work & Pensions 4:04 pm, 10th December 2008

My Lords, I refer to the important point made by the noble Lord, Lord Skelmersdale, about the single working age benefit. It is not just David Freud who came up with this idea; Professor Gregg did as well. Would I be right in interpreting from the Minister's reply to the noble Lord, Lord Skelmersdale, that there is no likelihood that provisions for a single working age benefit will be in the forthcoming Bill? It would be very helpful to know that.

Secondly, the Statement said that Access to Work was to be extended to 48,000 people with disabilities, but the scheme could assist nearly a million people. Getting people into work, assisting employers to provide work, and sustaining work so that it is not just "no pay to low pay" but no pay into a job with a career in prospect, are essential elements of this policy if it is to meet the needs of the client group it is seeking to serve.