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 McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions) (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government) 4:04 pm, 10th December 2008

My Lords, in terms of what the legislation is likely to contain, everything in the White Paper will not necessarily need to be translated into primary legislation. Some proposals can be dealt with administratively under current arrangements, some can be dealt with by secondary legislation and some will have to be dealt with by primary legislation. The proposal is for a power to be taken in that legislation to remove income support from the scene but no power, as far as I am aware, to go further than that currently. The implementation of that removal of income support depends on a range of things, in particular the issue around carers, which we touched on earlier.

Regarding Access to Work, we think that 48,000 people would be helped in 2012-13. The budget has been doubled; that is very significant support for disabled people and a very popular programme. Of course it is not all that needs to be done. There is the whole panoply contained in Pathways to Work. There are the new arrangements around psychological therapies to support people—the IAPT programme—and embedding advisers into that programme. There is the range of measures that Carol Black is looking at under the cross-government approach to employment and people with mental health conditions. There are, of course, obligations under the DDA on employers in any event to make reasonable adjustment. So Access to Work is an important part of the picture but not the whole picture.