Welfare Reform Bill — Report (5th Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:45 pm on 23rd January 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Drake Baroness Drake Labour 9:45 pm, 23rd January 2012

My Lords, I thank noble Lords for their support and the noble Baroness, Lady Tyler, who also argued the case for family and friends carers in Committee. I accept that the noble Lord has shown a commitment to looking at the needs of this group and I think the charities would accept that.

My anxiety and that of the charities that articulate the interests of family and friends carers is that the Bill is going through the House without one having achieved clarity over the kind of protection that this community will get under the legislation. The Minister said that this community would be supported in the most appropriate way, and that it was necessary to get it right in regulation. It would be helpful if he confirmed that there will be regulatory provision to protect this group, notwithstanding what the precise solution may be, rather than leave the protection to discretion. It would be helpful if the regulatory route was being taken. I thank my noble friend Lady Hollis, as ever, for coming up with an excellent suggestion.