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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:30 pm on 23rd January 2012.

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Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 10:30 pm, 23rd January 2012

My Lords, it is a shame that the noble Lord is not here to move the amendment. I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Meacher, for moving it so ably. The noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, was pretty surprised and somewhat impressed as he heard the developments that we are making in this area. He has been a long-term campaigner in this area. I think he was worried about the bits that we had not yet caught. I was not able to have a meeting with him on this matter, but he met with my officials, as did his colleagues from Unlock, and we were able to provide a lot of reassurance about positive intent to keep going in this area. There are some differences, which is the reason why we cannot support the entirety of this new clause, but that is not because we are in any way against helping in the rehabilitation of prisoners and other detainees but because we are moving along with our own programme. We think that that will prove more beneficial in the long run than introducing this structure which we think would be expensive and resource intensive in prison assessments.