Report (2nd Day) (Continued)

Part of Welfare Reform and Work Bill – in the House of Lords at 10:30 pm on 27th January 2016.

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Photo of Lord Layard Lord Layard Labour 10:30 pm, 27th January 2016

My Lords, the Government are great believers in the principle of “nudge” and have greatly expanded the nudge unit. The fundamental principle of nudge is that, by quite small differences in institutional arrangements, you can produce big differences in outcomes. One principle of nudge is to give people an opportunity to protect themselves against their worse natures. That is exactly what this is about: offering people an opportunity to protect themselves against their own weakness. It is difficult for me to understand why the Government are not willing to use this elementary psychological principle. Would the Minister consider consulting the nudge unit before insisting that this ideological line that is being pursued is consistent with modern psychology?