My Lords, the Minister will not be surprised if I focus on the self-employed. The Social Security Advisory Committee has acknowledged that the main concern about the self-employed was not the grace period, though it acknowledged that a small extension is welcome, but the principle of the minimum income floor itself. Organisation after organisation submitted evidence to the committee to say that this would not work. The committee requested that,
“the Department should undertake a robust evaluation of the policy and its operation ... It is important to determine whether it operates equitably, what effect it has on the self-employed themselves, and what effect it is having on start-ups generally”,
“evaluation should extend to the related tests of ‘gainful self-employment’ which underpin the way in which the Minimum Income Floor operates”.
There is a fundamental flaw in the way that that has been structured. Can the Minister give some assurance that there will be such a robust evaluation of the policy?